Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recovered!

In 2010, someone stole my cittigirl.com domain. It took 2 years, but finally, they released it and I have recovered it!

Unfortunately, I've gotten away from my blogging habits and I'm not quite sure how to ressurrect it. I'm bummed I have lost my readers :(. I loved getting your messages and e-mails.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Progress

I'm happy to report I was able to get back on the volleyball court this summer. I had to cut down on my playing and tone down my ball-before-body instincts, but it was important that I still be able to participate. I'm still doing physical therapy and faithfully seeing my chiropractor - I never would have thought I'd have to be dealing with this still. Even for the intensity of the pain early on, I never believed I'd still be affected 10 months later. The experts are hopeful I'll be back to normal, at least as normal as normal will ever be, within the next 6-10 months. Gotta keep on keeping on! My travel schedule was so busy that I couldn't get in to see my chiropractor for almost 4 weeks and the pain and immobility came back so strong I was afraid I'd stepped all the way back to the first month after the accident. I'm thankful we're back on track though and I feel like I'm improving again. I just started jogging again a couple of weeks ago and working out with bands and other light resistance. Real progress people!

The cold doesn't really help though and for awhile I thought I was going to have to sell my house because I couldn't afford to pay other people to maintain it and couldn't do so myself without being spot sore for a week or more. I'm going to stick it out. It pisses me off to no end all of the sacrifices and time I've had to lose because of this and the last thing I'm going to do is let it drive me out of my own home. However, San Diego does sound nice. :)

Emily should be welcoming a beautiful baby girl in the next 24 hours... I'm thinking Superbowl baby?

Go Pats!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Out of Order

I missed a few milestones here, but I found the time to write a book about bathroom automation. Good stuff.

I turned 30 on May 10th. Thank you to those of you who made it to St. Paul and helped cushion the impact of leaving my 20’s! For those of you who missed the celebration, you missed the gigantic photo collage my Mom made up which, now that I’m thinking about the 4-year-old in the Wonder Woman costume, maybe isn't such a bad thing :)! Thanks Mom for putting it together, it really meant a lot! And thank you Sarah and Shana for making sure I had a ride home so could whoop it up right! Want a second chance to rock it like it’s going out of style? Pub Crawl. Call me.

A week before my birthday, I was hit by a car. Crossing a crosswalk. Luckily, Mr. SF was turning right so had slowed down at least but still, all I saw was hood emblem, hood, and asphalt. I tumbled over the hood in true Hollywood style. Ironically, the man who hit me, who didn’t SEE me, is an eye doctor. The driver behind him? A personal injury lawyer. I'm freaking Larry David. Initially, I thought it was just my left knee, but just like the doctor told me, about 2 hours after the accident, everything started hurting. I’m surviving, but missing volleyball which I’m hating especially since I had to miss playoffs and now the beginning of the new beach season. I haven’t slept a good night’s sleep since it happened and I’m just exhausted from being in pain so constantly. I can deal with sprains – they hurt when you step on them. This aches and burns ALL DAY LONG. I only hope I fully recover and can get back on the court very soon.

Look both ways!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Automated for the People

OK, I get the whole hang-up on public bathroom sanitation and have pretty much come to terms with the fact that you’ll never really know how bad it is (thank God) and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. So I allow myself to believe I minimize the contamination by guessing which stall is least used (or least used for #2), using my foot to flush, and grabbing the door handle in the less obvious maybe more inconvenient spot that I think most people don’t touch. It’s all about the path less traveled by. I don’t mind the auto-flushers. Thankfully they’ve made advances that cut down on the premature flushes – there was nothing worse than having the damn toilet flush mid-stream. You can’t stop, can’t stand up, but as soon as you feel a fast moving drop of public bathroom toilet water on your behind, you jump. Hopefully not pissing all over the floor or yourself as a result. Automatic towel dispenser? Well, some work, some don’t, I think they’re a waste of money. I don’t see how they're better than the towel dispensers that just plain have a towel ready for you. Tearing it off exposes a fresh new clean towel for the next person. Sure, if the new towel didn’t present itself, you had to manually turn a wheel, but these auto sensors don’t always sense so you end up smacking the blind red light with your hand or waving at it like a fool who thinks they’ve seen a friend in the crowd only to realize it’s not a friend but a complete stranger who is now looking behind them to see if you’re actually waving at them since they’ve never seen you before in their life. What I really wish they’d take back is the automatic liquid soap dispenser. Maybe it’s my own depraved mind, but it totally grosses me out. You hold your hand underneath it and there’s no visual indication that it’s looking for you, that it sees you, or that it cares that you’re there with dirty hands. And all of a sudden without warning, it spurts out a dollop of soap into your hand. It appears out of nowhere. It’s disgusting. You’re going to wash your hands anyway. What difference does it make if you touch the soap pump when you’ve just touched the toilet flusher and the door to the stall? Maybe this is an Inkblot test. We’re going to squirt soap into your hand and you tell us the first thing that comes to your mind. It seems I either need to get out more or find someone to stay in with. Or, I need counseling.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Welcome to Detroit

Well, I survived Detroit and Wrestlemania! I guess I didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't heard anything positive about the D before. Only tales of abandoned boarded up or burned out houses, crime, unemployment and a depressed economy. But a particular Detroit guy painted a much different picture. He had Detroit pride. It was infectious. I've been talking to him since January. It really wasn't supposed to happen – I was only to talk to him about Wrestlemania! I was being “interviewed” on my non-existent Wrestlemania knowledge to see if I was worthy of a ticket. I passed thanks to Google and some hints from the other Detroit boys who were in earshot of the conversation. We talked for an hour and again the next day for five. Four the next day...you get the idea. A chance introduction turned into long hours on the phone, e-mail chains between the group and a 100% chance this Detroit weekend was going to include plenty of debauchery and liver endangerment.

The trip turned from something I never really thought would materialize to holy shit, I leave in 10 days. You can lose a guy in 10 days! And then I started to panic. What if I'm interrupting guys' weekend even though they all swore it wasn't so? What happens if he doesn't like me? What if I don't like him? What if I do? What if I really do? What if I'm distracted? What if I do something I shouldn't? What if I get drunk and agree to move to Michigan? Sigh.

Tom got in about 90 minutes before me. He and his Dad were at a hotel having a few brews waiting for my flight to arrive. I waited for them outside the baggage claim area soaking up the nice weather and watching people greet each other with excitement. I was excited to see Tom and anxious to meet the crew. I was imagining my own blissful airport greeting. I must have had a ginormous smile on my face because I noticed an older gentleman noticing me. He flashed me an appreciative smile. He walked by once, hesitated, went inside and came back out and said, "I just have to tell you, I haven’t seen a smile like that in years. You must be really happy – it’s just radiating off of you!" I thought I'd better tone it down a bit, I didn't want to give myself away!

Tom and his Dad picked me up and we headed to the house that Tom built. From the freeway, neighborhoods were interrupted by the shells of abandoned houses, some were badly burned and it was sad, but I was too frigging elated to be affected. I got to have dinner and play Keno with Tom and his parents and then we drug the old man out to the Suds Cellar for some cocktails. The whole gang was there so I got to distribute my Wrestlemania paraphernalia. We worked the jukebox over while the guys reminisced. Good times. And only a taste of what was to come.

Rich took me to work, Joe picked me up around noon. We hit a liquor store for the Jumping Bomb Angel shot ingredients (go into a party store in St. Clair Shores with an Asian and have her ask for sake, it was hilarious). After our unsolicited green tea lesson, we headed directly to the Shores Inn. I started the Hall of Foam beer tour and Kopah met us. We had a couple shots and the boys had a few boombas. I managed to stretch a single beer over 3 hours. I tried to nap in Kopah's truck but thanks to a nearby car alarm, no cigar. I was already exhausted and it was only 5pm. No rest for the weary, we headed to Jeff and Josh's keg party. Rich arrived shortly thereafter. Here I presented him with his gallon of Crown tucked neatly in a swivel stand. There were shots. I had Joe give me my last rites. We went on a wild sushi chase and ended up at Waves where Josh had too much fishbowl and Tom rescued me. We headed to Mike & Jen's. Rich & Kopah joined and we were off to a little hole in the wall filled up with karaoke. Bad karaoke. But good company :)

Rich & I had breakfast Saturday morning and walked around Royal Oak. Picked up some cannolis and gourmet flavored popcorn before heading back to his house. We watched The Boondock Saints and were lazy until it was time to meet the boys for dinner at Thai on Main. Those of you who know me, know I play the Asian card affectionately and often. I mean, I was charged with designing a shot and I called it the Jumping Bomb Angel after the famous Asian wrestling tag team of the 80's. So you won't be surprised when after the waitress took our drink order and disappeared into the kitchen, Kopah asked me, "So, do you know her?" You might recall the White Bear Story. Hilarious! So we're musing over the menu and Joe's having a hard time deciding what to order. They're asking me since clearly I’m the Asian cuisine expert and all of a sudden, there's this sound from the kitchen. Not just any sound. An animal sound. A freaking drawn out "Meow". I'm not kidding – you can't make this shit up! Kopah again doesn't miss a beat and says, "Well, I guess that's the special!" Turns out, it was just a baby crying, but it was too late, we were all just about on the floor we were laughing so hard. We had a nice dinner and headed down the street to Cafe Habana for Mojitos. We had two before Tom arrived and a third, maybe a fourth followed. This proved to be the last place I remembered to count my drinks. Swell.

We continued watching my teams lose the Final Four games at O'Tooles. This is where things apparently got out of hand. We have a gigantic tube full of Newcastle and my stomach is still full of rum! Eventually, we have sister waitresses, Rich buys all of the test-tube shots from the shot girl and I am sure I'm going to be seeing double before the night is through. Lucky for us, there were 38 shots purchased so we can easily refer to this as the .38 Special. I was slap happy and not in the way you'd think. There were camera phone pictures... yikes. I don't know if we went to the Rock or not, not because I was in that bad of shape, more so because I'd stopped paying attention. We did go to Andiamo's. I know that for sure because Rich and Kopah ripped Tom's jeans in an effort to Daisy Duke him. There is definitely something about the D that I will never understand :)

We managed to get back to Rich's. I put on my iPod while Rich and Tom put away some Johnny Walker Blue and I read magazines before passing out half on the couch and half on the footstool. That doesn't sound bad in and of itself but my legs were on the couch with only my elbows on the footstool i.e. nothing below my stomach. I have no idea how I managed to fall asleep this way. Oh yeah, that's right, I didn't... I passed out! I did wake up once to check on the boys to find them playing with swords. I wisely retreated upstairs. Last time I was around two boys play fighting, I was inadvertently knocked out by an uppercut. Still rings my bell just to think of it!

Wrestlemania is upon us... and we were still wrecked from the night before.

Kopah handed me a beer. When he realized I had no intentions of opening it, he opened it for me. We got to downtown Detroit and took over the patio at Coach’s Corner. I devoured a chicken sandwich, seriously, it didn’t have a chance and tried to shake the well, shakes. Rich took off, without saying goodbye I might add, and we headed to Ford Field around 5:30 and were shocked by the crowd. Turns out there were over 80,000 people in attendance! Ford Field employees were ushering us around the back of the stadium telling us lines at the front were over an hour long. It was madness! We grabbed an $11 beer and found our seats. It was a great spectacle, they left nothing out – fire, lights, insanity. We had pretty good seats but Ford Field is huge and the ring is so small that we did end up watching the jumbo-tron some of the time. The masses booed every wrestler that I knew by name, but I found myself cheering anyway. Yes, as in any sporting event, I couldn’t help myself! After the show, we headed to Bookie’s. Rich was there with some friends and let’s just say I had some catching up to do. I managed to soak up enough alcohol to numb the senses before the party bus arrived. It was then that I realized that I was a survivor!

Rich dropped me off at Tom’s Monday morning. Tom, his Dad and I headed to Comerica Park for the Tiger’s opening day block party. We took the people mover so I got to see the different parts of downtown. It’s not a big-city-downtown, but it has a big footprint. No pretty skyline or interesting architecture really to speak of and still the boarded up buildings and broken windows were scattered throughout. They’re renovating, building up lofts and condos. It sort of feels unnatural though, I couldn’t put my finger on it. The ballpark is incredible, however. The area around Comerica and Ford Field has a new face and seems to be a more happening place. I bought a hat, we walked around, ate, laughed. I was my usual easily amused self. At one point, I reached through the gate at Comerica Park and took a picture of myself. I said, there, that’s my picture at Comerica Park. Tom’s Dad says to Tom, she’s easily entertained isn’t she? All we’d have to do is find a ball of yarn – she’d be entertained for hours! Tom’s family is great. I had such a great day and the weather was gorgeous. We all dropped $20 at the MGM Grand Casino before heading home. I fell asleep in the car. The true test of comfort. Tom and I went to see 300 which was great. I hear people complaining about the weak or inaccurate story but the visuals more than made up for it. Of course it will be filled with gratuitous violence, but isn’t that the draw? Tom was on the phone with Rich when I came out of the ladies room. He seemed anxious to pick me up and it was kind of cute. We went to the grocery store and he made me dinner. We got an authentic Slurpee at the 7-11 and watched the Black Donnelly’s. Was kind of hard to believe it was my last night in Detroit!

I’m not going to detail the travel horrors, only the good stuff makes the cut. After all, I think I’ve already written a book.

Even though I survived Detroit, I didn’t make it unscathed. I got really sick Tuesday, had a fever so took it easy all day while Rich worked. I did walk up to the 7-11 to get another taste of the Slurpee and hysterically, I got lost on the way back to his house. I walked by the same house with the humungous easter display about 8 times. I had to ask a mail carrier for directions. Only I would get lost going to the corner store! Turns out I had walked past his house once, I had the house number wrong in my head. His pup Maddy was probably going crazy watching me walk past! I was kind of sad when he brought me to the airport, it was the first real non-working vacation I’ve had in years and I had such a great time! I bought a few souvenirs, ate at the Coney Island and boarded the plane. And my liver breathed a sigh of relief.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Limerick

In the manner of tradition, a St. Patty's Day Limerick!

On-the-Job Travels:
This year I’ve traveled the nation
Out West to Grand Central Station
Places on the lists
Of recommended trips
But I go to Detroit for vacation!

Wrestlemania... The trip begins in T-14 days.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Crash n Burn

I'm driving home from Blaine with a friend following not far behind when I see lights ahead. At first I think someone's getting a sobriety test but quickly realize it's bigger than that. There are at least 6 sets of rollers ahead. Traffic slows quickly. There's an older model sedan overturned with both driver's side and passenger's side doors open like a butterfly. Glass is shattered everywhere. There are multiple police, an ambulance and a firetruck facing the wrong way and I felt sadness. Fear. Empathy to whomever was involved and their families. Regardless of the circumstance, it's not something that could have turned out OK. Someone was gravely hurt and I'm affected. From the jet needing a jumpstart, to the final broomball Sunday on Saturday, to Blaine without fatality, to sorrow over a stranger.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Clouds

  • Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! Wishing the best life has to offer to all of you in 2007. Whatever that may mean to each.

  • After the 2nd nearly new pen quit working in a row, I had a thought. There is something I miss about working for a gigantic company. Better pens.

  • I love Sarah Jessica Parker. But The Family Stone was difficult and almost painful to watch. Even despite Claire Daines' beauty.

  • Self-involved isn't all that far off from self-ish.

  • And when will I stop fooling myself into thinking, feeling, I want something I don't? Reasons. Uncontrollable reasoning. And they always come back to bite me in the ass. And it hurts. Every time. Justify that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spammers

I just spent an inordinate amount of time clearing out spammer comments.

Since comments are rare occurrences, I'm going to turn on authentication. Any comments will have to go through an approval process unless you go through the authentication process.

Not sure how it works? Leave me a comment and it will walk you through signing in! Satisfaction guaranteed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

60,000 Feet

On October 20th, I had flown 6,272 miles since January 1, 2006.

I knew I would be traveling more often this quarter, but I didn't really think I would fly enough to keep my Silver Elite status. Flying "enough" would mean flying 18,728 miles in 2 months or 1,836 miles per week or 260 miles per day.

Well, here we are, 3 days short of a month past the 6,000 mile mark and I've more than doubled my mileage. I'm up to 13,492.

By this time in December, I will be sitting at 25,060 miles.

I'm happy not to be losing the special treatment that has quickly converted me into an airline snob and also that keeping such snob status has been made possible by trips to the likes of San Francisco, Nashville, San Antonio, Vegas, Philadelphia and Vegas again. But I really really miss being home. And by being home, I don't mean, just long enough to do laundry and dirty a water glass! Thank you to everyone who has been helping me take care of mi casa. Without you, I would come home to a house with no roof!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For Free in Frisco

I was in San Francisco 2 weeks ago. I learned that the following are free in the Bay Area:

  • Sour milk at the Muni Starbucks.
  • Bullets in Japantown.
  • Items in plain sight in parked vehicles. Locked doors and rolled-up windows aside.
  • Brand new BMWs if parked in the same place for more the 17 hours.
  • Purses on BART if not secured with a proximity alarm and/or armed body guard.

    I witnessed so much crime, I was beginning to think I was somehow responsible.

    I got into town at 11pm and headed to the nearest bar. While waiting for a drink, I started a conversation with a guy. From Burnsville. Figures I would travel 1,600 miles and run into someone from my backyard. We drank, danced, and I relished in the perfect weather.

    I slept under the dining room table. Trust me, this story is better explained in person.

    Woke up Saturday and headed to the Fisherman's Wharf. Unfortunately, we pit-stopped at Starbucks and both indulged in Lattes. Fortunately for Dustin, he opted for the small. About 20 minutes later, we're waiting for the connector at Pier 3 and both of us are writhing in pain. Luckily, it was manageable by the time we hit Pier 39 and we had fun walking around, people-watching, and buying a Moss jersey for me to wear to the Raiders' game. We got home and I napped basking in the sun. This is vacation!

    Dustin gets us on a few guest lists and we head out for sushi at 8. By 9 we're just finishing up and waiting for the check.

    I hear commotion and it's coming closer. A panicked and hysterical Asian woman begs for my attention. "Call 911, someone's been shot!" I summon the waitress, she calls 911 and Dustin and I turn our attention to the street. I'd just used the restroom and thought the stairs went outside so I assumed the shooting was outside the building.

    It's probably important to understand the layout of the restaurant. Below is a map.

    There were 2 women who came up the stairs. The one who asked for the police is in fuchsia. I circled myself in red.

    Everyone is on their feet and most have moved closer to the windows. All of us are watching the two men across Post St. with caution. The street is eerily empty. I back away from the windows.

    One man falls, the other man runs. My stomach turns and I feel the blood retract from my face.

    People are rushing to the fallen man's side. Police arrived moments later along with a fire truck and three ambulances. This is when we learned there had been multiple shootings.

    Apparently, this mid-20's man had walked into the bar downstairs and asked for someone by name. There were four people in the bar – 2 employees and 2 patrons. The waitress told the man that she no longer worked there and he shot her in the head. He then turned and shot the bartender. The 2 patrons ran upstairs to our restaurant. I still shudder whenever I consider this. Why did he not follow the 2 who escaped? They could I.D. him. If he would have followed them, I would have been the first person he would have seen. Worse? This man has a fairly extensive criminal record and all of his previous crime has been against Koreans. All 3 of this night's victims were also Korean. Not only was I in the wrong place, but I fit the right profile. It's very morbid.

    When he left the bar, he crossed Post St. just outside our restaurant's windows and entered the Japantown Peace Plaza. The plaza, ironically, is known for a larger than life Peace Pagoda located right in its center. Within the reach of its shadow, the shooter encountered a young couple, said something to them and when the 22 year old man tried to walk around to avoid him, he was shot in the head point-blank.

    The waitress died on the scene. The plaza victim, 22 years old, died in hospice on Sunday. The bartender was last known to be in stable condition.

    I feel like I escaped something there. It took me a week to get over it. It's selfish, but I'm glad I didn't see anything too graphically close in proximity. It was hard enough dealing with the fact that we knew what had just happened. Seeing the blood spill would have likely found me in therapy.

    Link || Link || Link

    Other than that, we saw a crackhead break into a car with complete disregard to being witnessed. A girl's purse was stolen on the Muni train while passing through the bay tunnel on the way to the Raiders game. A brand new BMW had its window smashed in and disappeared. I will not be moving to Frisco anytime soon. Maybe ever.

  • Friday, October 13, 2006

    Oy oy oy!

    Ich möchte einem "Das Boot" mit ihr trinken.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    In Short

    Saturday Night Fever

    Chad, Nadine, and Kristy had their birthday party a few weeks ago. It was fabulous. I got to meet Austin who is the most adorable sweet morsel to love techno. Lawn games on the sidewalk, weird weather both figuratively and actually, little keg in a big coat, solid party. You really just can’t go wrong. Especially not with food of that kind of epic proportion! I’m standing with a group of eligible young men. I say eligible, but not for me as they are gay. The man to my right scans the room and whispers to his neighbor, “Have I hooked up with anyone here?” A subsequent scan and “No” is passed around the group. I don’t know 99.8% of the people at the party and those that I did were more interested in each other than in me so I remarked convinced, “Well, you know I haven’t!” and no shit, 20 seconds later, my ex-boyfriend walks into the living room. Laughter ensued.

    Day Trippin'

    I did so trip on the volleyball court boundary walking back to serve. In front of a large audience. Through the tears of laughter, I couldn't tell if anyone really saw. So I whispered to Chad, "Did anyone see that?" To which the crowd responded, "Um, yes, everyone saw that!" Laughter ensued.

    In Short

    Saturday Night Fever

    Chad, Nadine, and Kristy had their birthday party a few weeks ago. It was fabulous. I got to meet Austin who is the most adorable sweet morsel to love techno. Lawn games on the sidewalk, weird weather both figuratively and actually, little keg in a big coat, solid party. You really just can’t go wrong. Especially not with food of that kind of epic proportion! I’m standing with a group of eligible young men. I say eligible, but not for me as they are gay. The man to my right scans the room and whispers to his neighbor, “Have I hooked up with anyone here?” A subsequent scan and “No” is passed around the group. I don’t know 99.8% of the people at the party and those that I did were more interested in each other than in me so I remarked convinced, “Well, you know I haven’t!” and no shit, 20 seconds later, my ex-boyfriend walks into the living room. Laughter ensued.

    Day Trippin'

    I did so trip on the volleyball court boundary walking back to serve. In front of a large audience. Through the tears of laughter, I couldn't tell if anyone really saw. So I whispered to Chad, "Did anyone see that?" To which the crowd responded, "Um, yes, everyone saw that!" Laughter ensued.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Buzz

    I keep starting posts intending to finish them, but by the time I come back it's old news.

    I'm not a missing person, although I almost was in San Francisco so no calls to the FBI please.

    Briefly:

    San Fran is fabulous. Got to revisit that perfect palm tree in Sausalito. The city made such an impression that I'm going back in October for a Raiders game. I can hardly wait!

    I've been playing so much volleyball that I'm not getting better, I'm getting worse. Because I keep jamming my thumb.

    Missed Hinder, half of Chevelle, all of Hoopastank and part of Nickelback. But what I did catch was awesome!

    Let's not talk about erroneous car towing or over-tired tow truck drivers that can't see the difference between Place East and Avenue.

    I've missed a ton of announcements. Weddings, babies, I'll write a proper post later. Which hopefully means in the next week and not next month.

    Have a great weekend!

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Faintly

    I donated blood on Wednesday.

    It's not in my top million things to do, but I try to do it every year.

    For some reason I was particularly nervous this time. Made apparent by my passing out at the end. Thankfully I waited until the last vial was filled before giving way to the dark side.

    I'm finally feeling back to my normal self. I'm surprised it took two days. And, I'm 4 pounds lighter. How much blood did they take??

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    A Dosage

    There aren't enough hours in a day to get all of my work done, everything at home done, all the volleyball in, spend quality time with friends family and God forbid I have enough time to date in between... and then there's the fact that I'm behind in the self-indulging life-logging.

    How can I expect to remember the superfantastic time that I had in Nashville after I kill those braincells in the next few weekends? Just kidding - there is no way I could forget my first customer cut-over and certainly not the great time that Lee and Trish showed me! And I am so hanging on to those last few braincells :)

    My plane landed in Nashville at 1pm. I love Northwest airlines because for some reason, I am Silver Elite and get bumped to first class now. Sadly, I don't think I'll have enough trips in this year to keep my status next year. Then it's back to coach where even my knees touch the seat in front of me. Gotta enjoy it while I can!

    I shuttled to the hotel but not before realizing that if I would like a husband? I should move to Nashville. Seriously. So anyway, I cleaned up and Lee picked me up around 2:30! It was funny because this hotel was literally 3 blocks away from the hotel I stayed in last fall when we visited WebMD. He drove me around town and showed me the Titans stadium, Nashville arena, the usual suspects. We drove down Broadway otherwise known as Honky Tonk Row. Then we relaxed at Lee's place over a cold one and listened to the crickets scream. Yes, they scream in TN :) But seriously, it was great to catch-up and spend some sunny afternoon time with a great friend.

    Trish got home around 4 i think. Poor Lee didn't know what hit him - Trish and I might have gotten along a little better than he bargained for! One thing is for absolute sure - Lee makes a MEAN steak and as if he knew me or something, baked us up some twice baked cheesy potatoes! In all my years I never thought to put cheese on my twice-bakeds. Man! After filling myself with a great southern meal and a full-bodied German beer, we put on our shit kickers and got ready to kick some shit! OK not really, but I coudln't help myself.

    We went to Tootsies first. There on a 6' by 8' stage in all their glory, stood a four person honky-tonk band. They played their hearts out and it was impossible not to love it. Besides the band, the other notable was the over-the-road trucker who first declared Lee the luckiest man alive when he learned of he and Trish's marriage, and then ran us off when he decided an hour later that he really liked girls from Minnesota. Right.

    On to Robert's Western World, and the Stage - where the guys look taller and cuter when they're on the stage :) We drooled over the lead singer at _____ OK fine, Lee didn't quite drool. (Lee where the hell did we line dance like fools?) There was giggling, line dancing, and all around sadness that it was Sunday which leads to Monday.

    I was safely returned to the hotel at 9:30, cowboy hat in hand.

    To Lee and to Trish - you guys are my southern heroes! Come to Minneapolis! Before it gets to be -2 degrees!

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Quickly...

    Volleyball

    Crap, I've got to go to bed. I will finish this later.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    I'm lucky because...

    • While my Mom was in FL, I borrowed her Blazer to pick up a weight bench from a friend. When I was gassing it up to return it, I forgot my wallet on the rear bumper. Somehow it clung there until I parked safely in her garage.
    • I left my beloved sunglasses in the first shop we stopped in Red Wing. We shopped for hours before I realized I was missing them. This is significant because it's tough for me to find non-Ponch-style sunglasses that fit my head. We raced back to the first store to find them safely on the shelf where I had left them.
    • I got a new job that I'm going to love even more than my current job which I really actually love.
    • I met the coolest girl in all of uptown on my birthday. I am totally considering her to be my birthday present.
    • We kept in touch and ended up playing against each other our first night of Wednesday night volleyball. Let's call that "sealing the deal". We have become instant friends.
    • And we totally partied with Bret Michels tonight.

    I'm going to miss a lot of people. But we'll keep in touch. Because they're keeping track of my injuries. This has been a tough few weeks. Project closing, transition happening, big job decision. I don't think I would have made it through it without Sarah and the volleyball team.

    Thank you everyone who made it out to Gasthof's for the Maifest bash! I've played Hammerschlagen twice in my life and twice? I've won. Coincidence? Absolutely. It definitely did not have anything to do with the 2 liters of beer I consumed. Thanks for taking care of me Eszter and Sarah. Again, my life is owed to you. I hope that in someone's eyes, that is a good thing.

    Love and Poison,

    Cari

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Trick or Treater?

    Do lawn treatments work?

    I could do it myself, but I'm afraid I'd overdo and burn my lawn. Also, I have no tools. I think spreaders are pretty cheap but if choosing a fertilizer is anything like picking grass seed or a lawn mower, I'd better get there when the store opens because it could be a long day.

    Other than fertilizing, I have a minor dandelion problem along with some clover. I'm just a little crimson short of a Tommy James number. I was also grossed out by patches of mushrooms in the grass between the sidewalk and the street. I found them when I used my shiny red lawn mower for the first time yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to mow over them. Partly for fear that would somehow spread them to the uninfected parts of my grass, but mostly because I couldn't stand the thought that they might get on my shiny red lawn mower! There must be some kind of disorder to explain this.

    So, have you used a lawn service before (for fertilizing and/or weed control)?
    What are your experiences?

    I'm mainly considering Green Horizons because they're earth friendly. I also found Scotts Lawn Service but if it's anything like their other branded items, I imagine they may be overpriced. I have a coupon for TruGreen Chemlawn but have heard very mixed things about them.

    I've also considered digging it all up in favor of astroturf. Then I could have a line painting party!

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Food for Thought

    There are six of us and twelve 2-for-1 pints on the table.

    We're discussing movies and Brokeback Mountain makes its way to topic-of-the-quarter-hour. Everyone's seen it, but me. Overall, nobody was impressed. Not particularly bothered, but none left the film a changed person. The only other girl at the table said she was turned off by the man's relationship with the woman. He's gay, but is pursuing and being physical with this woman and his feelings and passion seem genuine. She questioned how a person could really want both so severely. A rational discussion about bisexuality ensues. The guy to my right said, "I like women. It's not like I could just like to be with men sometimes without being gay." To which I said, "I'm not a vegetarian, but sometimes I eat only vegetables."

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Reverse Magic 8-ball

    Most certainly so
    Signs point to possibly

    Have you lost your mind?
    Are you sure you had one to lose?

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    Less Than 98 Degrees

    Seriously, my blood is chilled.

    Partly because it's 62 degrees in my house and while I turned the thermostat up, I forgot to turn the switch from "off" to "heat".

    But mostly because I just watched Crash.

    I've been looking forward to it. I've heard good things about it but nothing specific. Certainly nothing that would lead be to believe I would CRY LIKE A BABY.

    So either, it just hit me like a ton of bricks because I haven't cried in 6 weeks or I'm a bona fide cry-baby in denial.

    And really, do they say anyone's name during the entire movie? What's sad is that someone probably tried to tell me that at some point but I shunned them because I was so looking forward to seeing the movie.

    Because I love watching movies and crying myself to sleep at 1am.

    Saturday, April 15, 2006

    Tired

    Of girls taking SO LONG to get ready

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Xcel Conspiracy?

    Jolynn's SO got free tickets to the Kid Rock concert last night. It was at the Xcel.

    We picked the tickets up from will call and she hands me mine...

    Would you believe I had the same exact seat as Tuesday?

    About the Kid...

    He's more talented than I knew and hotter than I'd ever imagined. And ever wanted to.

    Did I just use the word "hotter" in reference to Kid Rock? Um... yes 'fraid so. I felt like I should wash my eyes out with soap when I got home. But I didn't.

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    New Treads

    Feels good to be back in summer tires although I realize now what they meant by "performance".

    My car almost performed into the next lane which was inconveniently occupied by another vehicle.

    I forgot how tight these tires hug the road. I took a curvy right turn and almost over-turned into the Chevy to my right. The good news is that I may have scared him into needing new pants which would mean he'd get the afternoon off and it's absolutely gorgeous outside.

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    1 2 3   4 5   6 7 8 9 10

    ...11 12

    It's 01:02:03 AM on 04/05/06

    Today is orderly.

    Friday, March 31, 2006

    Yawn!

    Well, here's an anti-climactic partial unveiling of the new site design. I'm having major performance issues with movable type so am going to try tackling the rest over the weekend.

    In the meantime, I hope the disjointed links, layouts, and themes don't cause you any visual trauma.

    Have a great weekend!

    Love and PHP,
    Cari

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    In Remembrance of St. Patrick's Day 2006

    "I guess you could say I'm the Asian equivalent of Irish."

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Top 10 Reasons Being On-Call Doesn't Suck

    10... I've said it before, sleep is over-rated.
    9.... Justified that extended battery for the laptop once and for all!
    8.... There is a semi-tangible level of sympathy around the office that presents itself in the form of cake (also see reason #5 why being on call does suck.
    7.... You don't have to miss work happy hours because they will choose venues with WiFi.
    6.... It's good motivation to spend the 2 hours it takes to install, upgrade, and secure the wireless router that has been collecting dust for 6 months. (I no longer sleep with zzz's... definitely www's).
    5.... While waiting for Clonmel to call you back, you totally might as well update your MySpace profile at 3am. Looking up long lost classmates is also highly recommended. People love receiving sober-bar-time messages.
    4.... Because nobody would dare page you when Sevendust is on stage.
    3.... People no longer make fun of you for having your laptop. At the bar. (and yes, Scott, I am going to make a webpage survey for our volleyball team name. User authenticated so you don't skew the data. I'm so onto you!).
    2.... Because you can blame sleep deprivation for the haphazard self-serving top 10 list that makes even David Letterman look good.

    and the number 1 reason being on-call doesn't suck:

    I finally have a legitimate reason not to sleep.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    7:39 PM

  • The time at which it's too early to have had 4.5 beers.
  • The time I should have gone to sleep on Friday.
  • At least maybe not consumed the Irish Car Bomb at the Imperial Room.

    Let's just hope the nice folks at Brit's will allow me back :)

    R & E & G - I owe you all a beer. Actually, I owe you 36 so I can repay you for taking care of me!

  • Friday, March 17, 2006

    My Bitch

    It's st patricks' day
    and I got something to say
    Ronda is a fox
    don't fuck with her or her box
    because she'll make or break your day

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Official Limerick Week

    Seven shamrocks in seven days
    The countdown begins, leads up to the craze
    March Madness full swing
    Your friends you should bring
    We'll set this here town all a-blaze!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    The Sisters

    According to CENSORED, her co-worker, Cari Berger is a hotttt chica. her green pants are a dream come true, and she tries her hardest to hide "the sisters" at work, but we all know they are some money jugs. It is money.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Trippin'

    I was surprised when I got my silver elite package from Northwest because I only took 2 trips to Indianapolis last year. I went on thinking this for a few days. Today I booked another trip and the history sidebar reminded me I've been to Nashville, New York, Cincinnati...

    Yesterday, at the Olympic themed recognition event, I was in India. I won the centerpiece and traded Japan for the sake set and fu-ki sake. If only those miles would count, I'd claim gold. OK the cheese level is directly related to the stress level. I'm definitely dying over here. I'm still at work and aging.

    Happy hump day.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Goodies

    I had my first dinner guests tonight - Janice, Steph, and Jayden came over for some garlic cheesy bread and my favorite hotdish.

    I don't get to see Steph much since they relocated to San Antonio, but I am hoping to get down to see them soon. Especially since I didn't get to see Jazzlyn who was home with Dad.

    It was great to see Jayden. What a fabulous kid! Adorable in every way. Thanks for making me laugh little man! a.k.a. Tootsie Roll factory.

    And don't forget not to smile ;)

    Thanks for coming over to check out the place!

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Did You Know?

    Books do not read themselves.

    I like to read. I do not like to read books I have to.

    So hating school right now.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Tempted Fate

    "Northwest Airlines flight 2833 with service to Minneapolis is now boarding rows 25 and up"

    I was row 4 and anxious to board - the sooner I found my seat, the sooner I could be asleep in it. As I gathered my things, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but answered.

    It was my insurance agent.

    Pitching me life insurance. Life insurance! As I'm about to board a plane.

    I explained my situation, we shared a laugh about the timing, and she promised to mail me information. Shortly thereafter it was my turn to board.

    The ticket taker flashed me a knowing smile, wished me a good flight, and I began my approach. I wasn't able to completely squash the self-dialog around heeding the lack-of-supplemental-life-insurance warning and opting for a later flight until I remembered my company pays 3-times the usual if travelling on business. That's rational.

    Furthermore, I finally scheduled time to meet with my agent about said life insurance. On Friday the 13th.

    Let's hope nothing happens at broomball or volleyball before the policy is active. I sort of feel like I'm tempting fate at this point.

    Love or insurance otherwise,
    Cari

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    Que Sera

    Grandma,

    I will be forever filled with memories of playing Que Sera Sera for you while the sun set over Briggs Lake. I was always impressed with how you could play and sing. I could do one or the other and arguably, could never actually sing. But you never let me know that.

    We were always crafting, you taught me about Aloe and were always ready with an egg when I was hungry.

    I'm sad that you're not with us, but now I know you are with me wherever I go.

    Thank you for being a wonderful Grandma, for loving me and for letting me be a kid when I needed to be.

    I love you. And I always will.

    Merry Christmas in Heaven.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    Chances

    I vow never to take my luck for granted.

    A week ago today I dealership-hopped with Brent and Shelly. I'm so grateful for them. They took their entire Saturday and dedicated it to helping me find not only the exactly perfect car for me, but also the fabled phenomenal car deal.

    I was sure I wanted a BMW. I love the 330ci but the convertible is extra nice. The handling, the style, the intuitiveness of the automobile as a whole. But I was also sure I didn't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for 3 simple letters. I didn't even know how to spell exorbitant.

    Our grand rounds included Infiniti, Volkswagen, Audi, and the beloved bimmer.

    We started out with the G35. Aaron Finger greeted us and immediately offered us Infiniti branded water. Before I could blink I was on the road in a 2006 automatic. I was taken aback with the smooth acceleration - that V6 moves! Could I really be looking for an AT? We discussed features, availability, and Aaron was respectful when we told him we had other dealers to visit.

    We drove through the Audi lot but the A4 1.8 liters are really the only Audis in my price range. I can't imagine stepping down in engine size. Besides I had that BMW on the brain.

    Volkswagen was next. Shelly really wanted to drive the new 3.6 liter V6 Passat too so we took one out. Cute features like an air conditioned glove box for transporting lunches and the umbrella storage is clever, but overall, there was road noise and it seemed like they cut some corners on the interior. Cheaper looking buttons, etc. No complaints about the ride itself though - one fo the smoother shifting automatics I've ever driven.

    Have you seen the new BMW body style? I love it. But the coupes don't come out until next fall! The salesman pitched his "Ultimate Driving Machine" 4-door as sporty enough for even Richard Petty and gave us a 6-speed manual tester complete with the sport package. The seat was awesome. Adjustable in a million ways, hugged in all the right places. But I couldn't shift that thing without the threat of whiplash to save my life. Brent had trouble too so at least I didn't feel quite as bad. The automatic was nice, but not nicer than the Infiniti and at $43k without navigation... even used with 20K miles, they were asking - and getting - over $30k.

    With the 330ci fresh in my mind, we made our way back to Infiniti to check out the G35 once more. I talked to Aaron again about options and asked to drive the 6-speed. As soon as I released the clutch, I knew I had to have it. We drove, I giggled, I almost ran a stop sign. It was a perfect match. We started talking about cost, options, rebates, discounts, things that only Brent and Aaron understood. The differences between the 05 and the 06 are distinct, but not worth the extra $3k to me. The 05 is already more car than I need. My cell phone isn't even blue tooth compatible and I don't know that I want to risk my key being more intelligent than I am. Plus, I like the taillights on the 05 better and the one on the showfloor was fully loaded and calling my name. Loudly. It wasn't a color I would have picked out of the brochure, but it grew on me quickly tempting "luxury" while the body screamed "speed". I was contemplating the attractiveness of ordering my own color and hand-picking my options when someone else opened the car door and gushed over it as he lowered himself into the driver's seat. I found my heart in my throat while I silently pleaded with him to "Get out! Now!" Yes, I was ready to make the deal. We started working numbers, they test drove my Prelude. We were about $1k off of where I wanted to be with my trade. They met me in the middle but Brent was smart and led the way out. "For now" he whispered as the door closed behind us. I was sad, but knowing it was closing time, making the car safe through Monday, helped. Was even thankful for another ride in the Honda and hurried home to get ready for Josh & Becky's party.

    Thankfully, I had no time to wallow in any amount of disappointment that I wasn't going to show up glitzed, glamoured and G35'd.

    The party was nothing short of perfect. I'd found a great dress, I was greeted with a friendly familiar face (Todd) and Josh & Becky's friends proved to be interesting, enlightening and fun. Some great connections were made, Texas Hold 'Em played and wine and delicacies enjoyed. I even met a wonderful gal who happens to sell blinds! I was worried I'd feel uncomfortable and sure I wouldn't stay long but I didn't leave until after 3am. A sure sign of cocktail party success!

    Sunday = Slipknot = the first metal concert I went to and nearly fell asleep during. Another indication of a successful cocktail party :)

    Monday: further negotiations + bowling intermission + more negotiations + papers signing = new car owner!

    I absolutely LOVE it.

    Thank you again Brent & Shelly. You made this whole experience fun and for the first time ever, I feel like I got an absolute steal at a car dealership!

    And Navigation? The option I swore I didn't need? How in the world did I survive without it? It will even highlight the nearest shoe stores. Or more importantly, gas stations. I might be frequenting the local fill-up stations more now. I think the V6 comes standard with a straw.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Omission

    Oops... I forgot the link that made the last story the home run that it is!

    An unrelated 2 words:

    Serengeti Sand

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Remember

    This actually brought a tear to my eye.

    Thanks Mighty Girl! You've restored my faith in mankind and made me remember what's really important. It's great when somebody just gets you, isn't it?


    10.21.05 THIRTY IS THE NEW THIRTY

    I turned thirty today. To celebrate this, my best birthday ever, I have a story for you.

    When I was 17, I got a summer job and saved up a modest amount of money for a car. I was searching, fruitlessly, for a VW bus that didn't smell like pot or konk out on the test drive, when I happened upon an incredible, candy-apple red Karmann Ghia. My stomach hit my shoes.

    I'd never been interested in cars, beyond their practical applications, but if I were a car, this was the car I'd be. The thought of owning it made me want to go-go dance in the parking lot, yodel from atop the highest peak, grab startled strangers and kiss them on the mouth.

    My mom said no.

    She called it a little, red, moving coffin. I pleaded, reasoned, cried, and finally wandered around forlorn for a week or so. Then she had to take an unexpected trip, I had no car to get me to school while she was gone, and she acquiesced.

    As I've often said since, when you're a seventeen-year-old girl with a red sports car and a matching cheerleading uniform, there is very little you can't have. I drove the car through high school and into college, replacing practically every part along the way, until a tree branch fell on the top and broke most of the windows. I was way too broke to fix it, so I sold it to some guy for $400 and fought nausea when they towed it away.

    To this day, I recognize the distinctive putt-putt coming up a street, and I make Bryan stop and watch them go by. Then I wipe a single tear from my eye, and we continue on our way.

    This morning, Bryan and I decided to have a birthday breakfast together, and he went to fetch our car, which was parked several blocks away. He came upstairs to get me, and as we descended the stairs, he asked if I wanted to drive. "Not really," I said. We opened the front door, and he said, "Are you sure?"

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    22

    I'm not talking guns.

    But it is a nice round number.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Another Weekend Bites the Dust

    Turns out they aren't Japanese beetles. They're just lady bugs. JBs have white tufts of hair under their shell that is visible towards the rear. Beetles with tufts of white hair. Gross.

    I haven't had anything to drink since Halloween. Having a house is improving my liver health. Strangely though since I have at least 2 cases of beer on-hand plus a liter of Jack, Sapphire Gin, Vodka and the appropriate mixers. Come on over and party! Because it's good to be the sober-cab when you're already home.

    Dad helped me get my mattress inside. We set up my bed and I started getting my clothes organized. I'd gotten so used to sleeping upstairs I nearly forgot my queen bed awaited! While I didn't mind sleeping on the twin, my subconscious self must have felt trapped as I found myself this morning all wound up and taking up the entire bed.

    I went shopping today. Replaced the white ceramic kitchen hardware with brushed steel from The Brass Handle. They were patient even though it took me 3 trips to close the deal. First a test, then the final cut, then the 8 that didn't pass the Berger QA. Sure they were small (ok miniscule) knicks, but I would konw they were there and damn it, they were $8 each. That's almost a sandwich at Champps.

    Well, I set a goal to have my clothes done before I go to bed tonight and if I sit here a second longer, meeting that goal will mean I won't go to bed tonight.

    Vikings win = Purple apparel at the bowling alley tomorrow. Also I'm still in good shape at the 93x.com football picks contest. In the 97th percentile - not bad! Makes up for my floundering in fantasy football. My excuse is that I haven't had time to keep up on the waiver wire. I'm injury ridden. Owens' suspension doesn't exactly help my cause either. What I'm really sad about is that I've only thrown my football 73 times this year.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Groan

    I only had 10 trick-or-treaters! I was looking forward to meeting some neighbors. At least enough to make the last minute $11 stop at Walgreens worthwhile!

    Jolynn, Edwin and I hit up the Quest for Fear Factory. See, Jäger is good for me. Without it, I wouldn't have her! The Quest does not serve Jägermeister. We bowed our heads in shame. And we met up with Russ and Luke. It was a great show! My recent reduction in drinking has caught up with me. 3 beers and I don't recall paying my tab. In fact, all day today I was pissed at myself because there is no good way to go back downtown just to pay-up and collect my card. Luckily I thought to check my wallet before making the journey and low and behold: paid tab and credit card. I'm not even sure why I'm admitting to this.

    I got a lot done tonight. I worked late but got straight to it when I got home. Did my first loads of laundry in MY washer and dryer. Love not having to travel with my hamper. Got most of the pantry set and more work done in the kitchen. I can't believe I still had 2 boxes of kitchen stuff to sort out.

    Time for bed.

    I will close with this thought.

    Whoever is responsible for the Japanese beetle import should be reprimanded. Harshly.

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Home Sweet Home

    2 weeks ago, I was 8 hours away from signing the mountain of mortgage paperwork that turned out to be more of a molehill if you ask me. Closing was a breeze. We were done in about an hour. Ron and Pam stayed another half hour to talk about the house. They gave me names and numbers of the companies and contractors they've used over the years and the neighbors. They were so kind and happy their home is in good hands. They happily answered all of my questions and we exchanged numbers and promises to keep in touch. I left in a pre-loaded car with a bag full of keys clutched in my hand.

    It must have been meant to be because Heather had the whole week off of work too! She met me at the house and we quickly had my car unloaded, walked the grand tour and were off to meet Mike for lunch. Post-sandwich enjoyment, we wasted no time and started ripping up the living room carpet. We had it de-carpeted, staple and tack strip free in about an hour.

    I had the main level hardwood floors refinished by U B Hardwoods. They were absolutely phenomenal! The floors turned out beautifully. Call Bob for all of your hardwood floor needs (763) 360-9992.

    I was able to get the kitchen settled and a good amount of boxes moved myself that first week. My Mom was a Godsend, taking vacation on Thursday and also helping all day Friday. We packed, we moved, unpacked, shopped and cleaned. It was a grueling week! The furniture and remaining boxes were moved last Saturday. I was overwhelmed with the help that I had. We were able to get everything in 1 trip with Randy and Sherry's truck and trailer, Emily, Mike and Todd's truck, Dad's, Scott's, and my car. Plus, Tyge's motorcycle (haha).

    Shelly & Brent brought me a Korean lilac bush - a replica of the artifact I had to leave at the old house in the BP. My house has just the corner for it! Lance, a friend from this summer's downtown volleyball league, gave me a gift certificate for Bed Bath & Beyond. Wow, completely unnecessary but very much appreciated! Homeownership is expensive!! My Dad and Nancy gave me a pretty yellow mum plant I have soaking up the sun through the kitchen window. It's dang cute from the roadside if you ask me!

    So other than moving, cleaning, unpacking, shopping, and volleyball, bowling and driving myself crazy, I haven't been up to much. Did a Halloween Jäger promo this Saturday complete with orange wig and feather boa. Andrea and I had fun even! Afterwards, went to Heather & Mike's where all was plentiful: Jäger drinks, bonfire, chair tricks and front flip action. No party is complete without a visit from some of Crystal's finest!

    I love my new office furniture and leather chair I splurged on. It's comfy and sleek.

    Although maybe too much so since I should be in bed right now! Big day at work tomorrow.

    Well, Happy Halloween! Be safe, and enjoy the sweets!

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Actively Seeking Cash Cow, Golden Egg Laying Goose, or The Winning Powerball Ticket

    9 days and a wake-up to homeownership!

    But I'm scared to death of my mortgage payment. And naturally there are a million things I want to do without the million dollars it'd take to do it all. I'm no good at prioritizing.

    Rugs, lamps, hardware, vacuum, tools, rake, shovel, lawn bags, TV, stereo, window treatments...

    <sigh>

    All the fun stuff is stuff that could theoretically wait. As if.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    News Worthy

  • Chanting or not, System of a Down puts on a great show! Thank you Jolynn, for bringing us and for whatever favors you have to do for those front row seats! (haha)

  • I bought a house! It was the 3rd house Evon showed me on Saturday. It's a 1.5 story in St. Louis Park and it couldn't be more perfect. It's true what they say, I knew it was "the one" immediately.

    So, it took a few weeks of looking before I figured out what it was that I wanted. Evon weathered the flip-flop between single family and condo/townhome like a champion and helped me understand real potential and value. Above and beyond the normal call of duty. It's so great to have worked with someone who really has my best interests in mind. It was never about a paycheck, it's about the investment that will undoubtedly play a huge part in my life.

    Of all the homes we saw, this was the only one with absolutely no maintenance needs. Everything is new. Maintenance free siding, gutters, gutter guards, windows, doors, storm doors, kitchen cabinets/appliances, bathroom cabinets/fixtures/sink/tub/toilet, furnace, a/c, water heater, water softener, washer/dryer. Even the garage is new.

    I'm still in disbelief that in 2 1/2 weeks I am going to be a homeowner! I've never been so excited to pay rent in my life - it will be my final rent payment, hopefully ever!

    Party on 10/22! Come on over for food and drink. Call or e-mail for details!

  • New York was fabulous. I will post a couple of pictures when I have a chance. Which might mean next year :)

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Oktoberfest at Gasthof's this weekend. Friday & Saturday 5pm-11pm + post-tent Mario's patronage. This time, I will be pouring beer instead of consuming it. Well, mostly pouring beer anyway.

  • Thursday, September 22, 2005

    History Repeats Itself?

    I find myself on another opponent's volleyball team... this one's indoors. I will be investing in some high quality knee pads in the near future!

    Have also signed up for a fantasy hockey league but I think I must be crazy. I have no idea who's who in the hockey realm. Somebody's got to bring up the rear of the league right? Might as well be me!

    Fantasy football however, is going well. So far I'm 2-0 in 2 and 1-1 in the 3rd, scoring a league record 130 points last week. Who knew Santana Moss would score twice in the final minutes of Monday's game!

    Going to the System of a Down concert tomorrow and looking for houses again on Saturday. Bowling Saturday night and onto Inver Grove for a Jag promo. I've started writing "BREATHE" on post-it notes and scattering them randomly to remind myself to do so.

    I'm going to New York City on Monday. I can hardly wait! I'll have all afternoon to walk the streets, photograph everything and meet Fred for some Monday Night Football action. We happen to play each other this week so it's extra special. One of us will be celebrating victory. The other may be crying in their beer :)

    Hope you're all having a great week - hope the storm didn't render you power-less. Enjoy the weekend and the final days of summer!

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    The Freak

    ...posted 130 yards and a TD... I no longer regret drafting #18.

    Red is taking over my life. My pencil is red, my planner is red, phone, wallet, unmentionables. Thankfully my checkbook is not. Hopefully this last detail won't change once I find a house.

    If I don't find a house in the next 3 weeks, I will be renting a P.O.D. and showing up at random friends' houses, suitcase in hand. I'm sure there are several hundred people hoping this does not happen. OK fine, 8 people.

    It's a good thing Evon is patient and nice.

    In between Jäger promotions, I have a softball tournament and the first night of bowling. Post-promotions, 4th row 45-yard-line tickets await followed by OMK's housewarming party followed by the Sunday Night Football game. Read: Excessive beer intake and exhaustion.

    Monday = first night of the Flaherty's league and the first MNF game. I got a small dose of Madden last night, enough to last the entire year in fact. But I'll be back for more come Monday!

    Enjoy the weekend! Drink Jägermeister responsibly.

    Somebody, sleep for me. Por favor!

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    Pieces

  • I had to draft Randy Moss.

  • A bee tried to pollenate my belly button gem.

  • This is my first and last marathon. Running is no longer fun. Especially from Minneapolis' finest. haha

  • Time may be valuable but I wish I had some to waste.

  • 15 days until kickoff!

  • Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Streaks

    Well.

    The Twins won 12-0

    The Vikings won 27-16

    My winning streak is intact!

    The Jäg stuff has been fun. Well except for being mistaken for strippers. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Saturday, went to Brainerd for the drag races with Jolynn. First people we talked to? Live in my apartment building. When this was discovered, the first thing they asked was if I run a lot. Ridiculous. And maybe a little unnerving.

    Leaving for Nashville tonight. Get to see Lee and talk some football, am very excited! Better issue that sheep warning. Mothers, watch your children tonight! :)

    Tomorrow, client visit and then the trip home. Doing a promo in the BP. Can't wait!

    Hope you're having a good week!

    Go Vikes! 21 days until kick-off! 24 until the first home game. Let's rock.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Unsure

    It's been so long, I don't even know what it is that I'm trying to catch up on. Other than sleep.

    It's August and I was still writing about June. Russ commented that he missed July entirely. And July, it missed me.

    I would drive 5 hundred miles and I would drive 500 more... I drove almost 600 miles over July 4th weekend. The following weekend, journeyed up to Pine River for the weekend. Made it just past Pequot Lakes before 3rd car in front of me suffered a head-on collision killing the driver instantly and seriously injuring the driver and passenger of the southbound vehicle. They were airlifted to Fargo. It was horrifying. There are 2 twists of fate. First, about 30 minutes prior I'd wanted to change to a CD located out of my reach in my backseat. I decided I was only 45 min away and could tough it out but 5 minutes later it got the best of me and I pulled onto the shoulder to swap CD's. I didn't pay real close attention but only a couple cars passed me. The truck in front of me was driving me nuts but I couldn't get an opportunity to pass him. He was speeding, then riding his brake to 50 mph. Up to 80 and back down, mixing it up with a swerve every now and then. I backed off, giving him plenty of room to move. Had I not changed CD's, maybe I would have beaten the accident. Or maybe I would have been in it. If I wouldn't have put a quarter mile between me and the truck, there's no doubt I would have smashed into him. He hit the ditch, I followed to avoid debris and the grounded vehicle. 3 others after us. He blew a tire and didn't have a full-size spare; the other 3 all lost at least 2. I somehow managed to escape with all 4 tires and an unscathed vehicle. Pulled every muscle in my lower-left back but by some grace of God made it alive and able to carry on without too much trouble. It did squash my wakeboarding hopes, but maybe that's a blessing in disguise as well. After all, the dog jumped out of the boat not realizing of course that his hind legs were resting on the board sending it soaring into my shin. Who else gets a blood-drawing wakeboarding injury while inside the boat? With the anchor down.

    I tried rollerblading, borrowing Cory's balance, but it hurt my back even more. So I rested. The marathon will have to wait. I even demoted myself to "beer girl" at volleyball. Quite a big step for me as I don't remember the last time I missed a game of anything due to injury. And it's not that I'm not always injured :) Missed 2 weeks of marathon training and eased back into it the week of the 25th. Decided to be a rockstar and ran with Club Run on Monday. We ran 2.5 miles to Kenwood park where we did 3 miles worth of 400m repeats. That is 12 - 400 meter sprints separated by 45 seconds or resting. My IT band prevented me from running back to the Target Center. Coach Mark was kind enough to let me ride his bike. The combination of it being too tall for me and my innate awkwardness on a bike allowed the runners to beat me back to the gym. Sad but true! It was comical. When I had to stop for a red light, I had to gingerly navigate the bike to the curb so my foot could reach the ground. My complete inability to practice moderation put me out of training again this week. My IT band injury resurfaced and I'm doing the right thing by taking care of it so as not to worsen the situation. Still, I'm bound and determined to run on October 2nd. I've just modified my 3:45 goal to 4:30. A 4.5 hour first-time marathon time is OK by me.

    We definitively won our first playoff match - we played solid volleyball. Let's hope it carries over to next week! Better be sunny, I think I talked Russ into boating over. Congratulations to Adam and Sheila who welcomed Avery on Saturday. She's a peanut - born 6 lbs 19".

    Officially started the house hunt tonight! Saw 3 houses in NE. I like the area but we're going to check uptown/St. Louis Park next. Closer to the lakes, Minnetonka and the houses have more character. Wish me luck. I might have committment issues when it comes to location. And the zip code range I'm interested in keeps growing. On second thought, wish my realtor luck. I doubt she realized I was such a problem child. Looking for a house? Evon is a superstar.

    The Twins are going to win tomorrow. Becasue I'll be at the dome. And although I'd like to say they never lose when I'm in attendence, it was brought to my attention that I did see them lose in May. And perhaps a few other times. It's just that they win most of the time. Is that good enough? This time, I promise not to ruin Christmas.

    My Vikings streak is still intact however. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Maybe losses are just so traumatic, my subconscious blocks the memory in defense of sanity.

    34 days until kickoff!

    Saturday, I have my first Jägermeister gig. I'm nervous but excited. Cassandra and Jeff are going to be there for moral support. I mean, sombody's got to support my morals right?

    Oatmeal Cookies and JägerBombs,
    Cari

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Further Behind

    Un-New York City (June 24):

  • Grrrrrls
  • Calhoun
  • The Tonka Tradition
  • Boys

    Saturday's Child is Full of Friday's Beer and Pizza (June 25):

  • Pacemaker 5000
  • Rabbit Whisperer
  • Nickerson Rules

    Vikings vs. Volleyball (June 29):

  • Tony
  • Kleinsasser
  • Fans

    OK, this is painful, but I have to go to bed. I'm almost positive I'm chasing my tail. Someday I'll catch it and catch up!

    Have a great week, stay cool and dry!

  • Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Far Behind

    Technically I’m 4 weeks behind.

    In an effort to actually keep this short, I implemented tool-tips as stated in my last post. Hopefully they don’t prove to be annoying, irritating, or belligerent in nature. The goal is to satisfy the scanning reader while giving those who want details, well, details.

    Here goes?

    Polka-Picture-Taker (June 18):

  • Gastof's
  • Bill Koncar
  • Hammerschlagen
  • Apple Shots
  • Das Boot

    Father’s Day (June 19):

  • Boat
  • River
  • Clouds
  • Great

    More to come?

  • Friday, July 15, 2005

    Tool-tips pop-ups

    Implemented tool-tips on the site from

    Major props, your pop-ups rock.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Coincidentally

    I've always considered coincidences to be lucky. Even though sometimes they're scary, they're nearly always interesting. At worst? Mildly annoying. Being surrounded with them, however, can have a bit of a claustrophobic effect.

    So I'm blessed with more than my fair share of near misses, odd connections and the circling logic that connects it all in the end. What are the chances that in a sea of 40+ thousand, I would run into 2 people I'd met 2 days prior? And I saw them on separate occasions - Kevin, before the race and Craig, post-pavement-pounding. How many people do you know that meet new people at the bar, join their volleyball league, practice once, set up a date for 2 days later and in between practice and the date, end up in a conversation with a completely unrelated group from which one asks if by chance, you'd know the person you practiced with and have a date with the next evening. Pick a name, any name and scare the beat right out of my heart!

    So the third time is the charm, right?

    Lisa is on the volleyball team mentioned above. She happens to play Monday nights downtown and needed a sub on the 13th of all numbers. I'm not one to pass up playing anything if I'm not otherwise committed so I took the opportunity to fit in a good run before the games. We played our match - first game in full sun and that thick sticky air that makes it hard to breathe. So much so that we were relieved when it started raining during the 2nd game. Big fat warm raindrops that cooled so nicely as they evaporated. And then the wind started up turning the pleasant evaporation into more of a sand-blasting effect. It was hard to play and they'd just called the games but we were almost done so we finished the 3rd game before heading to the Refuge for a couple of air conditioned beers. Somehow we managed not to get hypothermia and I had a great time getting to know the team. We talked about everything from work to fantasy football and they definitely caught my attention when they said they might have an opening in their auction-style league this fall. Hopefully they'll keep me in mind. The A/C did finally get the best of us and we began the soggy way home. Lisa was kind enough to give me a ride, I'm pretty sure I would have melted if I would have tried it on foot.

    Rewind two weeks. I keep in touch with a handful of co-workers from Norwest - OK Wells Fargo. Larry was always my favorite and we've been successfully keeping in touch about once a year since my departure in '98. I e-mailed Larry to see how life was treating him and caught up on things over the first week of June.

    Imagine my surprise when I receive another e-mail from him on the 17th simply stating:

    "So I hear you were quite the volleyball sub on Monday."

    It turns out that he knows the guys on the team because he plays fantasy football with them. Yes, he's on the league I was soliciting. They get together every Thursday and every Thursday Larry asks how volleyball went. The usual recap ensues with one of the team members explaining that Lisa brought in a sub. Details given were that I am: Asian, a huge Vikings fan and that I ran to the courts. Larry interjected - "I think I know that girl!" They of course were in disbelief until he came up with my name.

    I'll use Larry's descriptor for the situation. Haunting.

    And you just can't escape it. Which is why it's important to be nice.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Memories

    What has happened in the last week, you ask?

    I don't know.

    I don't remember.

    Perhaps there is a reason I can't.

    Maybe what I don't know, won't hurt me.

    Now that's naive.

    But that's my middle name.

    If you have any information leading to the arrest of my runaway memories, please contact me immediately. Depending on whether the memory you return is good or bad, a reward may be in store. And don't get me wrong, the bad memories might be more valuable to have back in my head. I just have to hope that they haven't skipped town stowed away in someone else's.

    Oy vey!

    Last week's case file:

    Monday spent quality time with Jill and Kevin in Champps alley on her birthday. Enjoyed Bud Light and Kevin's surprise I was drinking it since I was adamantly opposed to it last summer. Even stated that if I could stomach the first one I could probably drink the 2nd. I failed to finish the first. That being said, I didn't like Miller Light the first time I drank it but by the 2nd time, I'd given up Mich Golden Light in favor of it. Then I hated Coors Light when I got to Texas but left with no other choices, succumbed to it by the 3rd or 4th try. And now, Bud Light has grown on me. So I'm impressionable. But more importantly, I support my friends. Russ, this Bud's for you. And this one's for me. Or these 2 are for me. OK, fine, all 3 are for me, get your own.

    Tuesday. Tuesday, what the hell happened to Tuesday? Oh yes, kickball. I am an honorary member of the Greasy Cooters. I even have my own t-shirt which I will wear proudly because I'm madly in love with it. I feel horrible that I didn't make it out to the field or the bar tonight but I needed the time off. From beer.

    The good thing about Wednesdays is that I know what happens. Volleyball. Fletcher's volleyball. I love that almost as much as my Greasy Cooters t-shirt. Had a couple of beers before and after the games, nothing out of the ordinary except that it was absolutely deliciously gorgeous outside. Beats the hell out of the usual Wednesday rainstorms.

    Thursday we played in place of Josh and Becky who were busy enjoying margaritas on a beach in Mexico. We got whooped. And unrightfully so. We just never got a rhythm going. Everyone was kind of down after the match but while Russ mingled, I hung out with Shayna, her sister Annie and friends Kris and... again I want to call her Amanda, but it's Missy? Shoot. You know when you meet someone and get their name wrong and don't find out about your error until hours later so eternally they're known as the wrong name by your subconscious and man, if we could only control our subconscious, life would be good. Kris plays guitar for Gingerjake and happens to be shopping around for a web designer. I don't think I can handle the job due to the time commitment issue, but he thinks they may have found someone so maybe I could get the updates or take pictures for them or something. Anyway, they're all a lot of fun and I'm grateful for meeting so many great people randomly or not. Russ, Annie and I played again at 9:15 and lost all 3 again. This time we didn't feel so responsible as we were probably the strongest of the team members. Still, it's not fun to lose 6 games in 1 night. On the way back to the bar we ran into Russ' neighbors, they served up some captains and I supplied a couple more rounds before the night was over. Made friends with the bartender which is good but bad because that means you get more of your fair share of captain in your drink. I jumped the bar to pay my tab, have pictures of people I don't know well and barely recall the ride home. Not so excellent. Liquor dissolves my maturity. And therefore it must not be consumed. In mixed company. Damn it.

    Friday, Trevor was in town from St. Cloud. We had sushi at Kikugawa which is perhaps the most perfect food in the entire world. Seriously, insanely delicious! It was a beautiful night so we walked along Main Street a bit and I showed him the Stone Arch Bridge. We met Jill at Durkins for a couple and then headed downtown - where else but the Refuge and the Drink!? It was fun, there was mad dancing and beer intake and of course, Pizza Luce and drunk conversation followed.

    Saturday I got to sleep in! Walked to the Lyon's Pub for lunch where was punished for the burger enjoyment with horrible blisters from shoes I've worn 100 times before. They still hurt. We braved the walk home with the aide of bar band-aids and refrained from the nap-taking that sounded so so good. Played some volleyball in Father Hennepin Park and decided to hit the grocery store for dinner. I made veggies and dip, dinner and crescent rolls (of course) and we had a couple of beers before heading up to Biff's to see Boogie Wonderland. I was very excited because we were meeting Stacy, Brian, Ginny and Todd and I got to catch up with Lonnie (lead guitar) who I haven't seen for nearly 3 years. It's so cool to have friends you can miss for 3 years and pick right back up where you left off. I might even buy one of his old guitars and pick it up again. Rock on. We stopped at Majors on the way back to the Meyer household and Trevor and Brian found out they are related by Brian's uncle marrying Trevor's aunt. Unbelievable. The world keeps getting smaller! After the bar, we played another Texas Hold Em tournament. I won both rounds! Came home $80 richer and had to borrow $5 for the initial buy-in. Beginner's luck? Probably, gotta play some more to find out! I enjoy playing although I have a really hard time playing with friends in that I feel guilty as hell if I take their chips. It's stupid really because it's not like I'm upset or concerned when they take mine - let me introduce you to my overactive conscience.

    Sunday spent the entire afternoon at the beach on Lake Calhoun. Got very sunburned. I have a distinct mark where my swimsuit tie laid on my back. Ouch! Luckily, the burn was gone by Monday night and I'm a tan baby ready for summer!

    Played volleyball with Lisa's team downtown last night (another reason very thankful sunburn turned golden within 24 hours). First game was gorgeous, 2nd game warm downpour, 3rd game chilly downpour + wind = very cold. We won 1 out of 3 and headed to the Refuge for the volleyball specials. We had great conversation and I hope to sub for them again. It's an open night for me and I love playing downtown plus they're cool and hang out at our bar! What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, they might have an opening in their auction draft fantasy football league. Sweetness!

    OK so I remember quite a lot. That's a relief. I suppose I could blame old age but it's more likely the alcohol.

    Wish us luck at volleyball tomorrow night, it's supposed to be great weather!

    Enjoy the rest of the week and join us at Sommerfest at Gasthof's on Saturday night! 5pm-10pm and afterwards to Mario's or other nearby NE venue. Das Boot is calling your name!

    Don't forget to give your Dad a big bear hug on Sunday.

    Monday, May 30, 2005

    WSOP

    Stacy & Brian's annual Memorial Day poker tournament was a blast as usual. This time, I antied up and played. You know how watching ER gives you a false sense of medical knowledge? Watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN gave me the courage to join in the Texas Hold Em action.

    I've played a couple of hands in my lifetime. Enough to know how transparent I am. Couple that with my conservative gambling nature and well, let's just say I wasn't born to play this game.

    Shockingly however, the first round I finished 5th out of 12 and 2nd round, I came in 2nd. I lost when Todd went all in with pocket 7's to my pocket 5's. So so sad. But there are no losers here, I doubled my money and have some bragging rights! I mean, I got Brice back for taking me out the first go round.

    Here's proof...

    And here's proof of my sorry poker face... especially at 5am.

    I love my new camera. I promise to finish the zillion albums I'm working on before 2010.

    Hope you all had as prosperous of a Memorial Day weekend!

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    Girls & Relative Relatives

    Emily's Bachelorette party was fabulous. I think I counted 16 girls and not a single ounce of drama, nor a tear shed. We started out at 6 at The Bird for 2 for 1's and tasty dollar burgers. Emily got some great gifts and we got the party started. There was a radio announcement, a shot with Craig, mad onstage dancing, and smiles all around. I can hardly wait for her wedding in 9 days!

    Some of us went to Dennys for some post-bar fare. I was served up the best omelet I've had in ages. Seriously, it could have been the alcohol, but it was mighty delicious! We paid and were on our way out when we were halted. Apparently there was a big fight in the parking lot as 6 squads and much commotion was happening outdoors. We waited in the lobby and overheard a girl saying there was a group of Asian people in custody. Shortly thereafter, a very ignorant man walked out of the bathroom, nearly passed me before pausing to ask, "So why aren't you out there?" To which I explained, "Well, actually, I try to let my relatives duke it out themselves."

    The burbs. You gotta love 'em, but you don't have to live in 'em.

    Sunday, May 22, 2005

    Superfluity

    My goal was not to become famous. But it's kind of fun.

    Jill's aunt Luann threw her 50th birthday party at Gasthof's on Thursday. The tent was in full swing for Maifest and Luann rented the whole thing out, security, bartenders, snuff, shots, Mario, the whole ball of wax. Jill and her cousins handed out tokens while I shot 330 pictures. Bill Koncar and his band put on a great show as always. Not only did we get to help Luann celebrate with her family and friends, but we got to know the staff. Jill was quick to tell them about Saturday's birthday bash and they all promised to help us celebrate, even Bill Koncar.

    In between Gasthof's outings, I met Susie and Emily out for a couple drinks at the Bird. Craig and Kevin enrolled us in Silver Strike Bowling. I'm awful! Kevin and Craig were going to be at the Race for the Cure on Sunday too, so we joked about finding each other in the sea of tens of thousands.

    Saturday arrived and the morning light woke me hours too soon. Even still Jill and I got ready to rock out with Baja Sol. We headed out to Maifest at 5:30. Security escorted us promptly to the bar where the bartender had 5 Jägermeister shots waiting. He then led me to the beer-man and instructed him to "take care of [me] all night". He proceeded to fill my huge "Norm" beer mug to the top and refused my money. Mario then gave me a bag of tokens and ordered me and my friends to have a fun night. Shortly after finding a table, the other bartender arrived with apple shots for everyone. I told Sandra I'd probably end up face down on the ground by the end of the night! She promised to hold my hair. I love her.

    I chatted with the Hammer-Schlagen couple as they were setting up the game. I've always wanted to know what the scoop is and the usual crowd was missing so I took the opportunity to get educated. I failed my first lesson miserably. After at least 12 tries without even grazing the nail, I flipped the hammer around and pounded the nail in with the flat side.

    Jill's sister Pam arrived with CJ and Katie. Landon soonafter. Andy brought a friend and I lost track of time between the Jäger and the polka! I think I went outside to use the bathroom or take a phone call and in fact, may have, but inevitably, I was drawn to the Hammer-Schlagen. It's a force not to be reckoned with. The gal running the show saw me and stopped the game already in progress. She said, "Wait, wait! It's her birthday, you gotta let her in!" The guys looked less than enthused but obliged. When the hammer came to me I lined it up carefully next to the fresh nail placed just for me, pursed my lips, closed my eyes and took my best shot. And like magic, the pointed end of that awkward hammer drove that nail flush with the trunk! Everyone was in disbelief. I turned excitedly, ready to showcase my trophy to my friends but was greeted with a familiar face. At first we weren't sure why, but it didn't take long to realize we played volleyball at Fletchers on opposing teams. Meet Josh and his bachelor party. He's marrying Becky in 2 days did marry Becky on 5/14. We talked, I met some of his friends and it turns out they need a female volleyball player. I jumped at the chance to play at Fletchers again, it's so great when it's sunny. Russ promised to call and he did. I just hope I can live up to their expectations (I was drunk. OK, very drunk. I wanted to play so badly. They asked if I was any good. I'm sure I told them I was). Hopefully they won't hold me to it. Or maybe I should start practicing.

    Finally, I reconnect with Jill. By now, everyone but Landon has gone home. We went inside for maybe 5 minutes before deciding to hit the road. After all, I had to get up at 5:45 to catch the train to the Mall of America. I was asleep before midnight.

    Sunday morning's Race for the Cure was rough! Somehow, I maneuvered my way out of bed, into my running gear and ran to the station to barely catch the 6:10 train. I sleepwalked through the mall, got some breakfast, picked up my shirt and stopped by the main entrance trying to shake the cobwebs. Who is standing right in front of me? Kevin. Unbelievable! We chatted for awhile and headed out to the start line. The 5K itself went surprisingly well considering - I finished in 26:06. Running hard in humidity after drinking heavily and not drinking enough water is bad. Not only did I think I was going to pass out while waiting for the gun start, but I pulled my IT band - the muscle that runs down the outside of your thigh. It turns into a tendon which attaches to your knee. The pain in my knee was so awful I thought I had seriously injured the joint. I'm thankful it's only a pulled muscle as it will heal with proper rest. As I was limping back to the train station, I hear "Cari, why are you gimping around?!" It was Craig. How can this be? I'd overheard someone say that some 40,000 people were there and I randomly run into both people I'd just met 2 days prior?? I limped myself home just in time to take a shower before my Mom got to my place. We went to Vic's and had a great brunch. Then we watched the entire 1st season of Sex and the City. It was a great Mother's Day!

    I've been writing the above for 2 weeks now. To prevent this post from taking over the entire website, I will attempt to keep the rest brief.

    Mom, Jill and I went to the Sunshine Factory for my birthday dinner Tuesday. Mom spoiled me as always. I have a full length mirror now - no more standing on a stool to assess the outfit situation! Also a Yoga mat, new running clothes, lithium batteries and a polarized filter for my camera.

    I drove down to Fletchers after work Wednesday for a team practice which consisted of Russ, his friend Gina and I. I don't know if I was just nervous or feeling the pressure to perform, but I couldn't set to save my life. Gina left us for dinner plans after 15-20 minutes. The good news? I didn't have the chance to make too much of a fool out of myself. Bad news? I'd driven an hour to get there. Russ sympathized and we went inside to have a couple of beers. Which turned into 4 hours. The only thing I know for sure is that they're going to have me drinking nothing but Budweiser products by the end of the season.

    My Dad, Nancy and I had my birthday dinner at Chino Latino Thursday. I had sushi. I was in heaven! Nancy gave me a great necklace and my Dad a gift certificate to National Camera Exchange, my new favorite store.

    I met Mandy though Jill. Met Mandy's brother a couple of summers ago at Mandy's parents' annual volleyball tournament weekend. Ran into Brad at the 22 of all places last October. Brad calls Thursday at about 8 from Legends in Northeast. On the rare occasion that he was in the area, I went to meet him for a beer. It was a work function. The conversation was interesting, especially considering everyone started drinking at 3pm. Started talking to Bill about his relationship, life, etc. when he interjected, "You know, you really look familiar. I'm from Wayzata, do you go out there often?" To which I explained that I used to go to Fletchers a couple of years ago but haven't been there much since. He queried, "Do you know Russ [insert last name]?" I was dumbstruck. Perfect randomness. Out with the brother of a friend's friend and I would meet someone who knows the person I'd just met a week ago/saw the day before and had plans with the day after and they would spontaneously bring up his name as someone I may know. Turns out he's a friend of the family. He tried to give me stories, but I had to stop him. I wanted to find out for myself and definitely am not that girl!

    Russ and I saw the Twins take on the Rangers Friday night. It was a great game, lots of scoring and the Twins were up 6-2 until they let Texas tie in the 7th. We left in extra innings when MN gave up 2 runs. Finished the night off at Nochee. I didn't even know this place existed and it's very close to home. And it's nice. Russ knows the bartender. I think he knows everyone. Perhaps he's even more famous than I! When we walked up to the bar, I told Russ I knew the guy sitting there but I couldn't place from where. After a couple of beers I realized I'd met him while I was living in Dallas. He was hosting a friend of mine so when we all went out, we started from his place. He reminded me that we went tubing down the Apple River the next day. It's always interesting how paths cross.

    I spent Saturday with my Mom, did laundry and had Sawatdee's for lunch. They actually make their Pad Thai hot! Went bowling with Trevor who happens to be a very good bowler. I did get him 1 game though - I actually pulled out a 210 vs. his 204. I was picking up ridiculous splits. Anything to avoid the 3 splits missed = you doing the splits rule!

    What a great weekend. I want to wash, rinse and repeat that one over and over again.

    Monday = happy hour = shots = drunk phone calls = memory loss = oops. Just thank God for a sense-of-humor.

    Part of the work team went to the Original Sports Bar at the MOA for dinner and basketball on Tuesday night. We've got such a great team - I just hope we get to go to California next time. I'll bet they wouldn't mind - I don't think MN is their favorite place to travel to!

    Wednesday was our first game. We decided to get off of work early and hang out for awhile. This allowed me to avoid rush hour traffic and time to unwind before the big game which was rained out but not before we were out on the court soaking wet! We stuck around the bar to dry off a bit. It was fun to meet the team. They're a great bunch of people. I feel pretty lucky to have met them.

    I actually got to see Jill Hyser on Thursday! She thought I was never going to be home ever again, even thought about sending out a search party. We watched Sex and the City and caught up. We definitely don't get enough girl time.

    OK, that's all for now. So much for being concise! Have a great week! I just hope it's warm and sunny - at least on Tuesday and Wednesday! And I'm going to try to even stay home a few nights this week. As if.

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    In Progress

    I'm trying to catch up.

    The next post is going to be a long one.

    For now, I will leave you with a recent fortune:

    Don't fool yourself. The employees at Blockbuster know exactly what you've been renting.

    Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    The OC

    Is it bad to finish a mini-tour with your co-workers? Not when you get a beer bottle koozie that has a detachable strap so you can wear your beer around your neck. Now that is a pendant! Also, I got a hat. And it fits! This is significant since hats always crush my ears.

    Go liver go. Please don't fail me now. We got a long weekend ahead of us!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Fabulous

    What a fantastic weekend!

    Friday, Randy, Sherry, Mike and I headed up to the Green Mill after work on Friday to celebrate one more time with the bowling league. And to collect our championship money :)

    Afterwards, Randy, Sherry, Chris and I headed downtown for the Ron White show. It was hysterical! We'd heard that he repeats a lot of his older material but he only repeated his best stuff. And even that had a new spin to it. I wish I could remember more of his jokes even though I'd only succeed at putting them to shame. Randy & Sherry had to head up north so they dropped me off at home around 9.

    Miss Sutherlin and I headed out to Old Chicago where we ran into Ty and we braved the rain together as we headed to the Drink. Where we ran into Rob, Adam, etc. and went with them to the Lodge. It's a nice place but a $6 cover charge? Sadly I didn't see Tony until after paying. From there we ventured to Northeast running into who else but Scott Althaus on the way. We played volleyball together 2 years ago and have run into each other at several different places at least a half dozen times since then. He'd misplaced his friends so he joined us at the karaoke bar. Rob sang Crazy Train and we headed to White Castle. I love jalapeno burgers!

    Saturday morning, I crawled out of bed and headed to the Target Center for a quick workout before heading up to Duluth. I met Randy, Sherry, Tom, Lori and Randy's daughter Heather at Grandma's for dinner, picked up some goods at the LQ and headed to Derek's to see them off to their Lacrosse game. The game (vs. the U of M) was awesome. UMD came out strong but a U of M injury disrupted the momentum. The guy was on the field for at least 30 minutes before being carted off to the hospital. Last I'd heard, his head injury didn't end up being too serious. The Gophers came back and led by 2 with 3 minutes to go. UMD scored 3 goals to win the game. 2 of them within 40 seconds!

    We stopped at the hotel and walked to Grandma's to celebrate. I had intentions of bar hopping, going to Superior, a college kegger. But ended up spending the entire night at Grandma's. After having dinner at Grandma's. I went up to Duluth and went to one bar! But had a blast. I introduced Kendra to the infamous Chocolate Cake shot and hung out with Derek's friends. I'll give you 1 guess at their ages. <laughing> Duluth is the new Vegas.

    We danced until we couldn't take the heat any longer. I paid my $15 bar tab (that supplied 4 people. Yes, I love Duluth!) and we headed to the hotel. It was just gorgeous outside. Perfect post-bar walking weather. Randy, Heather, Tom and Lori returned from Superior at 3am. We enjoyed another brew or 2 before finally turning in for the night... er morning.

    Randy & Sherry headed to Derek's 10:30 game, Tom & Lori relaxed at the hotel and Nick & I headed to his friends' house. I decided to drink the beer Randy slipped into my bag at 11:30. Then someone had the bright idea for bloody maries. I forgot that the morning-after-beer-Beer makes you drunk very fast. Throwing the football helped me keep my balance and from falling asleep! We hung out there in the sunshine until showtime.

    Met at Derek's and headed to the Decc. Larry the Cable Guy was hilarious! I laughed so hard at his Christmas Carols, it hurt!

    We headed back to Minneapolis right after the show. Stopped in Hinckley for some food after I realized I hadn't eaten all day. Only some cereal at the hotel. Nick reminded me that I passed up pizza and later, KFC. He's smarter than I. He wasn't hungry either but knew better than not to eat since that might be (and was) our last chance for sustenance! Sometimes I wonder if this college education is really doing anything!! One Red Bull later, I was finally not fighting off what felt like imminent sleep. That drive would have been impossible without him talking to me the whole way home!

    I made it safely home at 10pm. I was pleasantly surprised since I'd half-expected to get home at midnight. I even got a chance to catch up with my Hyser! I absolutely cannot wait for this Saturday. It's a girls' day! We're going to the Vikings Draft Party on Saturday, Bobino for dinner (finally spending the $50 GC) and then out for the typical libations.

    Rock on.

    Enjoy the week!

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Exhaustion Induced Clumsiness

    I'm suffering from the above. I am so tired I have lost all coordination (what small lot of cordination I had to begin with!)

    A co-worker borrowed one of my extra chairs and returned it without my knowing. Other co-workers were waiting for me to head out for lunch. In my haste, I failed to see the chair obstruction, ran it over, hung desperately onto the arm as it rolled into the wall, stopping abruptly and sending me shoulder first into the metal door frame with a clang. Just loud enough so that everyone in the office area poked their heads out to assess the situation. I tripped down the last couple of chairs and warned the group that I may be a liability today. I made it through lunch without any chopstick mishaps but tripped into the truck on the way out and bruised my knee.

    I will not be driving tonight. In fact, I'm considering leaving my car at work and taking a cab home. It would be my contribution to the community.

    I will try to stay safe and sane tonight. We head to the bowling banquet cocktail hour at 4:30. For bragging rights and to collect our championship money. Then onto Ron White. Afterwards, I'm sure I'll meet the girls out and try to avoid the 22 year olds.

    Other notables:

  • I finished the Old Chicago Spring Mini Tour (A heartfelt "thank you" to those friends and strangers who helped contribute to the cause) with Kris who I hadn't seen in what seems like years. And they had small t-shirts. I love Old Chicago. Almost as much as Old Chicago loves me.

  • Did you know that if you finish 10 beer tours, you get a 40 oz. pewter mug that you can keep at your favorite Old Chicago? And they'll fill it up with your favorite brew for 2.50. 1,100 beers. Excellent.

  • Kris and I have to get together more often. Because we can.

  • I met Jill Sutherlin when Jill Hyser redeemed her free bar tab at the Wild Onion 2 years ago. We had our share of martinis and a cute waiter. We must have made quite the impression because he recognized us. 2 years later. Regarding the 22 year old rule, he might have been 22 then, but he's not 22 anymore. So there.

  • I spend too much time in bars downtown. On my runs home from the Target Center, I happen by quite a few of the usual places. I think it's a bad sign when you're running and several of the bar bouncers stop you to say hi. At different bars.

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Mom

    I spent the whole day with Mom on Friday.

    It was so nice.

    There's just something about being with Mom when you're sick.

    Thanks for the great day!

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Non-Smoking

    In case you've never been to Gastof's, the basement (Mario's) is usually a cloud of smoke. Friday night I was amazed at how much of a difference the smoking ban made. I was looking forward to not coming home smelling like a cigarette, but you can actually see and RECOGNIZE the bartenders from the dance floor.

    We reveled over this for a moment and then realized that this also meant that we could be seen from everywhere too. No more crazy dancing hidden by a haze of smoke.

    Sorry Smokers, I'm glad for the ban!

    Gastof's was preceded by a great dinner at Pracna and followed by some drunk-special-K-bar-making. Thankfully I was able to phone-a-friend to talk me through it or I might have forgotten to add the peanut butter :)

    The Little Falls No-Tap tourney was a great time. So great that I have to properly dedicate the time to document it; so pictures and stories will follow. Soon.

    Have a great Monday! Wish us luck tonight; we bowl for the championship!

    Saturday, April 02, 2005

    Happiness

    Who said you can't eat happiness?

    I'm on a HUGE lake, in a comfortable house eating cream puffs that guarantee I will have gained 5 lbs by tomorrow.

    Let's bowl. Post-Jello-Shots.

    Thursday, March 31, 2005

    Holy Burrito!

    I won 5 more free burritos from Chipotle! When the manager called to tell me the news, he gave me 2 options: You can share your winnings with your family, friends and co-workers; OR, feel free to keep all 5 burritos for yourself.

    I decided to share; and we all fit perfectly around the last available big round table.

    Man, I love my guardian angel.

    And my personal trainer. :)

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Sunshine!

    They closed my office due to sunshine.

    I love my new job!

    Have an excellent weekend - be safe, but have fun!

    Friday, March 18, 2005

    My Brain Cells Say A Collective

    OUCH

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    ANOTHER ST. PATRICK'S DAY LIMERICK

    There once was a chap named Dean
    Oh how he wanted his beer green
    So he waited all year
    'Til green turned his beer
    Now he's green too so it seems

    Drive safe everyone - Ride any city bus for FREE!! (from 6pm to 3am)

    O' Happy Day

    From Korea to the U.S.
    She flew in on an Airbus
    Swedish her Dad is
    But she arrived on St. Patty's
    And so she thought herself Irish!

    I really need to work on my limerick skills.

    Today we celebrate all that is GREEN.
    The luck o' the Irish, shamrocks, and green beer. You really can't go wrong.

    Today also makes me feel patriotic and humbled; thankful to be here. 26 years ago today, I was on a plane, sleeping soundly while my life changed forever. I've always been lucky. I have parents who loved my every step, friends who have been and will be forever, a great career, shelter, food. Choices. Being the only Korean-Swede-but-Irish-by-default, is just an extra perk.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

    Have Fun.
    Be Safe.

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Settle

    I own the Internet!

    I am writing from the comfort of my own home. It's amazing. I haven't done this for over 2 years!

    This is going to be terribly random as I have a million things to say and T minus 40 seconds to say them.

    Dad, thanks for the chicken! They bake up so quick and crispy in the convection oven - take comfort in knowing that your daughter will be well-nourished! Before and after the bar. :)

    I'm looking for a townhouse/condo/loft. And using it for motivation to THROW STUFF AWAY. I haven't tackled the storage locker yet, but don't worry, I'll make sure I wear the appropriate safety gear before endangering my life.

    The Minneapolis 500 Club tournament is next Saturday. I just hope I don't forget to release the ball and end up half-way down the lane.

    It was 60 degrees on Sunday - there's no way I can move away from the river. There's something calming about the river in the sunshine. As long as you're not being carried over the dam by it.

    Thanks to whoever hit my passenger door in the parking lot presumably at work.

    I was actually able to do some work on Cory's site tonight. I didn't accomplish everything I wanted but it is a start. And next time I work at home, I won't have to waste an hour removing Oracle and setting up the firewall/anti-virus crap.

    On a more somber note, there's a reason why I had time to organize and work on the website. Normally I suppose I'd be hanging out with Ryan, probably watching a movie or just going to bed. We'd hit a rough spot. I don't want to say too much - I respect Ryan's privacy and feelings and want to protect all that we had and whatever is left. But this is my outlet and I need to be honest and own up to the fact that things have changed. This isn't going to be easy and I'm really trying to let myself feel the hurt instead of my usual pain response which is to run away from it until it doesn't hurt anymore. Thank you to my friends who have hugged me and known when and when not to ask if everything's all right.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Small World

    I've been having the usual work history talk with some of the telecom guys here - it's funny how we all seem to have just fallen into the industry. I credit my start to Dominic DesMarais who hired me into Call Management at Damark so many years ago.

    I just applied for a mortgage last Tuesday.

    These seem unrelated, but Wednesday night, I got a mass mail postcard with Dominic's photo on it. He's a Mortage Advisor. I wrote him and we caught up briefly - he may be able to help me with my mortgage and I may be able to help him with a website. Funny how things work out! If you're looking for a home > e-mail Dominic!

    Kennedy should be coming home in 2 weeks. I'm so excited for Sus & Keith! Also, it was Susie's birthday yesterday. Oh to be 25 again :)

    Hey did you know that you can get Internet connection at HOME? I'm going to splurge so I should have more time to devote to this, and hitmendjs.com which Cory will be happy about. I'm SO sorry that I haven't been a faster worker. It's hard to work when you have to transfer files all over the place and wait in line for 20 minutes at the business office only to realize you have the wrong version on the flash drive.

    Sherry & Randy's baby chihuahuas are the cutest, sweetest, tiniest packages of love ever. I will post pictures. I just can't promise when.

    Speaking of cute, I bought a cute little plant from Target. I didn't want to over-water it, so I under-watered it and it's waifing away. Now I've probably drowned it. I'm sure there's a happy medium in there somewhere. If I could only find it.

    Such is life. There's more to tell but I'm not sure how and right now isn't probably the best time since I have to start work. I love my job but man, does work get in the way :)

    Happy Monday everyone.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Peek-a-boo

    Kennedy will be coming home soon! Check out her recent pictures, tell me she's not the most beautiful baby girl you've ever seen! I can't wait for them to be able to enjoy their family in their new home. Kennedy's sure to love her new room. On a sad note, I cannot believe I have to miss Susie's baby shower this weekend. Someday I will uncomplicate my schedule.

    I love my new job. I'm still acclimating and it's hard not being the "system matter expert" anymore, but I'm learning pretty fast and am absolutely certain that I made the right choice to further my career. I miss my friends, but am lucky I get to see them around the building. It's not like I can throw my Vikings football at just anyone though. Rob is special that way :)

    Ryan is happy at his new place too. He got to build his own office and is going to get experience with a new design software package.

    I put a simple homepage on CittiDesigns.com. I've been working on a few potential clients and hope to grow the business over the next 3 years. If you have any web design or maintenance needs, let me know!

    Hit Men DJs continues to grow and has had great success generating solid leads from the site.

    I need a PDA. I'm looking at the Pocket PC's since they integrate better with the Windows applications I use every day, but I'm not against Palm. Anyone have any suggestions? All of the features can be overwhelming and I'm afraid I'm going to buy the wrong device.

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    New Stuff

  • Hit Men DJs is now being advertised on The Knot. It was a mad rush to get at least the wedding pages looking good and as of now, you can pay your deposit online using PayPal if you want to book Hit Men DJs!

  • I taught myself how to knit last week and spent over 8 hours making a scarf for Emily that I thought would take 2 hours. Apparently, the guage of needles I used = 6-8 stitches per inch where the guage I estimated by = 2 stiches per inch. Notable? That I also decided I would make 3 more. By this Sunday. This Friday is an all-nighter-scarf-knitting-party. Wanna come?

  • The Vikings go to Philly this Sunday after stuffing a loss clear down Brett Favre's throat. Sorry Wendy, we love your stew and company, but there's no love lost with your team :). At least you won the first time we got together!

  • Sigh. Someday, I'll get to sleep before 3am and wake up without such hatred towards the light.

    Hope you're all well! Go Vikes!

  • Wednesday, December 29, 2004

    Loser

    I forgot to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I'm so sorry... belated wishes to you now - and cheers to a very happy new year!

    We're getting very close to cutting to the new Avaya solution at work. I'm excited. I'm nervous. Scratch that. Scared to death, and totally, utterly overprepared.

    I'm excited about the progress on the HitMenDJs.com website I'm designing. I hope that it brings Cory a lot of business. And maybe, just maybe, he'll recommend me to do other sites! We should be cutting the red ribbon in a couple of weeks, so expect a more formal announcement soon!

    I won my fantasy football league even though all 3 of my running backs fell short of the 100 yard marker. My opponent's kicker scoring 0 points and the Roy Williams/Jimmy Smith disaster helped. Excellent, now I can afford to eat in January.

    I hope you're all well, warm and comfortable. Enjoy the New Year's celebration, but be safe.

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    I haven't

    • Written my annual Christmas poem.
    • Started Christmas shopping.
    • Purchased the fabric for the 5 blankets I'm making much less started on them.
    • Started processing Claudia's 2nd birthday party pictures.
    • Gotten a good night's sleep in ages.

    I am

    • Going insane.

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    Apology

    After a very non-public outcry from the Northern Hemisphere Worm Fellowship, I would like to formally apologize for the threat of mass worm endangerment.

    No actual worms were harmed due to my overreaction to my website's comment deletion mishap.

    I do value the lives of the common worm and I do not feel that I am above them in any way. Except maybe about the fact that I'm not afraid of sparrows.

    Monday, November 29, 2004

    The Power of the Blacklist

    The MT-Blacklist plugin is the coolest thing since parachutes.

    But I'd underestimated its power. More specifically, I'd gotten so used to it working so perfectly, I'd stopped paying attention to the details.

    For example, I'd get spammed, I'd update my blacklist and hit "despam" and it searches through the comments looking for matches. It displays a summary of the matching spam comments and you have the option to delete them.

    Awesome. Hardly any work required and spammers get jammed before they spam.

    Last night, I was hit by online-generics-store. It had a trailing file name so I wrote code to catch anything online-generics-store instead of just the main page. (online-generics-store)?*([\w\-_.]+\.)

    I clicked despam, it displayed the results and I clicked delete. While clicking delete, I realized that it had caught not only the online-generics-store, but also actual comments from you guys, my friends, my pals. It was too late. And I lost all of the comments since July of this year. Apparently, the parenthesis around the domain name and/or the * made it a wildcard of some sort so every comment matched it.

    I'm so sad as I base my self-worth soley on the number of comments to this, my self-serving weblog. I'm down to 167 points now. I'm going to eat worms.

    But seriously. For other blacklist users... the correct code to catch online-generics-store with any trailing directories/filenames is:

      online-generics-store?([\w\-_.]+\.)

    For those of you who care about me, please leave a comment. Then maybe I can stop eating worms.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Bits & Bytes

    THE TAILGATING PARTY was wildly delicious. Lots of guys from the fantasy football league came and everyone enjoyed the fire, food, & beer. We tried out the Rapid Park. It has potential, but the camaraderie and festive atmosphere of old was missing. And once everyone headed to the dome, homeless people began scouring the area. Security did their best to keep them away, but my guess is that they left with more than they came with. That just didn't happen on Washington. Part of me wants to help, but part of me sees the rest of the group feeling uncomfortable because a smelly man has staggered over and stood by our fire asking strange questions and talking too close. Regardless, it was a great time and you should definitely come next time!

    • 2 turkeys and 3 lbs of cheesy potatoes disappeared.
    • Hyser's rice krispie bars and toffee bars kept people coming back.
    • Her Dad's sausage/vegetable/jalapeno medley had everyone breathing through their mouths.
    • Everything was delectable!!!!
    • Thanks to the neighbors who shared their TV, food & humor with us.

    RYAN'S BIRTHDAY was the 17th! I'm sorry I didn't post a "Happy Birthday" for you babe - but we were too busy celebrating! ...which started on Monday...

    • Monday, we bowled and had 3 or 4 a-hoy-hoy's afterwards. Scooby snacks, Liquid Cocaine, you know, the usual. I think we did avoid the Jägermeister, but then again, I could be wrong. Sherry, Randy and Mike are definitely the coolest of the cool.
    • Wednesday, we met up at Buffalo Wild Wings for a work happy hour. Ryan & I arrived early, I gave him his present and we enjoyed a few beers with friends. We headed to Zelo's at about 7:30. Zelo's is incredible. The food was fantastic and the service was unprecedented.
    • Friday, we had reservations at the Capital Grille. Their steak put Manny's to shame. Seriously. And Manny's is my old time favorite. Amazing.
    • Saturday, we bowled with Heather & Mike, took 5 points and settled into the bar with Les. Heather, Mike, Bev, Rick, Diane, Duane, Tim, Josh, Nicole, Jason, Jill, Andy, Jim, Tony, Stockman, Curt, Shelly, Brent, Jennell, John.... I'm sure I'm forgetting a few... we karaoke'ed laughed and karaoke'ed some more. Thanks everyone for coming out to Crystal!!
    • I need a vacation and a second mortgage to get over Ryan's birthday! :)

    Last but not least, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have a great time with friends and family. I hope you find time to relax and feel comforted.

    Much love, turkey and lots and lots of buns,
    Cari

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Vote!

    Please go out and do your patriotic duty today.

    And if you got Chipotle on Halloween, you get a free burrito today!

    Friday, October 29, 2004

    Happy Halloween!

    How in the world does a half month go by so quickly? Oh yeah that's right - alcohol scews your perception of time. Excellent.

    You know it's bad when you have to look through your bank statement to determine what you've done in the past few weeks.

    Tonight, I'm making turkey. Tomorrow, I'm making turkey.

    I also have class, shopping, packing and setting up to do for the Vikings tailgating party on Sunday. And laundry. Poo.

    Happy Halloween! I will post pictures from the par-tay sometime within the next fiscal year.

    Saturday, October 16, 2004

    I SEE YOU

    I SEE YOU

    Old Chicago

    Once again I can't refrain from posting from the local Old Chicago. We checked out The Shout House, a new piano bar on block e in downtown Minneapolis. There is definite joy to the world and all the boys and girls. Kevin Farmer is here from Depuke Iowa. I feel sober. This is a correctable problem.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    Mini Golf vs. Keg Stands

    Granite City is a microbrewery that serves up some fare that is absolutely delicious. Mom had the garlic sirloin that was so tender and flavorful even I loved it and I had the fire grilled vegetable/portobello tortellini in a delicate cream sauce and finished with parmesan bread crumbs. Even though it's in Maple Grove, I'd go again in a heartbeat. Also, their sports bar has u-shaped booths and lots of flatscreens.

    For reasons unknown, I ended up singing Criminal after kickball even though I didn't strike out. This is my official apology to the Sports Page patrons.

    The tent party was the most fun. I used my "Norm" Cheers glass and never was charged the 2 tokens it was supposed to cost for a liter of beer. Which also means that I had 2 liters of beer. Thankfully this was over a long period of time so did not end up sick or worse, sleeping at 10pm. Tony & Stockman stayed over. I'm sorry for having that text message war Stock. I hope I didn't actually make that girl cry. Well, much anyway.

    I won both of my fantasy football games again. I'd say I'm a force to be reckoned with but in each of my leagues, I play the respective top scorers of week 3 this week. They both have Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. Advantage Berger by less than a fraction of a hair because Indy plays the Jags. Please oh please let them have Peyton's number. (Sorry Stacy & Brian, I love you and the Colts, but I'm getting greedy with the fantasy ball). Definitely tired of this "You're only a girl" crap.

    The Vikes took Chicago but not as convincingly as we would have liked. The purple and yellow shoes will never leave the top of the TV. I'm sorry I wore them last Monday. It's totally my fault we lost to Philly.

    Volleyball was great. We won the first round of the tourney. It's after that when it gets foggy. Something about knowing the bartender and jägermeister and sour apple something and lots of talk about nothing and something and serious and not serious and filling ones purse with matchbooks and serving drinks. Yikes. Monday morning was not so much fun. We should never have to work on Mondays.

    We had mini golf after work for work and it was fun. I shot a 69. I did not win anything but I did make a few chip shots out of the woods (literally) and had to fish my ball out from under a pine tree. I think I should win something for being entertaining.

    Tonight, Hyser and I will live vicariously through Carrie and the gang again. It's possible this show is corrupting us. We also learn an awful lot about each other.

    Have a great week!

    Friday, September 24, 2004

    Ziggy Socky Ziggy Socky Hoy Hoy Hoy!

    Who: YOU
    What: Oktoberfest Tent Party
    Where: Gasof's in NE Minneapolis
    Why: German Beer, Das Boot, a hoy hoy
    When: Tonight from 5-10pm

    After 10 we'll either head inside or to a nearby pub. Beer there, or be sober.

    Bring Your Own Mug if you don't want to spend $5 and take one of theirs home.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    The Lowdown Nitty Gritty

  • It's cool to wear a jersey, but you should only put one arm in it. Because sashes bring your true badass out.

  • Bowling is fun. Especially when the pitchers are only $6.

  • We lost 2 of 3 in our first volleyball match. Then 2/3 of our team left. Ryan and I finished our beer and watched the Sunday night football game for awhile before gathering our things at about 8:30. On our way out, the league manager says, "We play you guys tonight, right?" Dumbfounded looks exchanged by Ryan and I. Apparently Team Josh Brettingen minus Josh Brettingen had a double-header. We swept them 3-0. Who needs 6? 2's a much more manageable number. :)

  • Hyser and I went to KFAN after bowling last Monday. I can't keep quiet while watching football. Especially when it's MNF. And Green Bay's playing. And I'm up by 5 points with Longwell on the field and my opponent has Ahman Green. I will never cheer for the Packers, but if they're going to score, I figure it might as well be Longwell. The other patrons were entertained but confused with my contradictory cheers and jeers.

  • I wore anti-reflective tape under my eyes for kickball. I'm now addicted to it and might start wearing it every day to work. Bring it on.

  • The Twins lost on Friday but we had a great time. After the game, we met up with Jason Berg at The Corner Bar and headed over to Sgt. Prestons where I ran into Chris Murray. It was nice to catch up with him! Kevin Farmer and his friends arrived via bachelor party bus and somehow after a pitcher, we ended up on the bus and then, Shieks. Luckily, it's only a 15 minute walk home. Sadly, we have this all timed out perfectly of when to order the pizza so it gets there a few minutes after we do.

  • Saturday I made hot wings and we headed up to Oak Grove for Mike's party. Everything was great. Beer brats, awesome food to share, a keg we almost fried and a HUGE bonfire. I'm not kidding, if I didn't know better, I would have thought they were throwing entire trees in the pit. Items of interest: We did kegstands. Because it's important to play college drinking games at 27. Mike found a spider that couldn't possibly be native to MN. Think black widow with bright yellow markings on the back and fangs. Fangs. <shudder>. We stayed up until 4:30am and slept on the futon. Woke up to breakfast and bloody mary's. Rock on. Thanks for having us Mike & Julie - your house is gorgeous and we had a great time. Also, Julie, your friends are awesome :)

  • Sunday: Happy Birthday to Mom!. We're SO sorry we ran late but are just as glad we got to share dinner with you, Grandpa, Shari and Rob. Food was delicious! I'm glad you like your cell phone - looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday to program it, etc.!

  • We had to leave dinner for Fletcher's only to find the other team didn't show. Bummed out but at least we were able to pick up a few players and play 4 on 4 for awhile. We got sucked into the Sunday night game and talked to Scott for hours. He's hilarious.

  • Bowling = Jägermeister = Vikings. Hyser, Ryan, Danielle and I went to KFAN for the game. Sadly, the Vikes fell to the Eagles but the memories made it somewhat worth it. Just after kick-off, enter man with mullet wearing sweater vest. He steps up to the bar looks around, turns towards us, points his finger at us defiantly and demanded, "Who took my chair?!?" We didn't know. This questioning went around to everyone within a 5 foot radius. For some reason he zeroed in on us. He said things like, I know you took my chair; if I find out which one of you [unprintable] took my chair, I'm going to kill you; you're all dead. At first this was funny, but the comedy wore off quickly. I went to find a manager and had started to explain when the waitress comes running over whispering something urgently. They take off with me in tow. He's now yelling at another group, but still accusing us of taking his chair. Manager and mullet-vest have conversation that goes something like:
    Mgr: Is there a problem?
    MV: Yeah, those [unprintables] took my chair.
    Mgr: This doesn't have to be a problem...
    MV interrupts: You're making it my [unprintable] problem.
    Mgr: No, I'm just trying to...
    MV: I'm a black belt samaurai and I can kick all of your asses. You're dead.
    Mgr: OK, that's enough.
    <Exits to phone police. Returns with bouncer.>
    As MV exits, he points at us and tells us that he's going to be waiting for us in the parking lot. The scary thing is that he's exactly the kind of nutjob that would be. It's a little ironic he threatened an Asian with kung fu. Apparently, he doesn't know my brother, Jackie Chan. Much sweater vest mullet mimicking ensued. As a side note, the food at KFAN rocks. Also, their TV is bigger than yours. Room for improvement? Radio boxes at each table. Come on, it's KFAN, we have to listen to Madden???

    Tonight, Hyser and I will make noodles and watch Sex in the City. We're addicted.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to spend some quality time with Mom, introducing her to her new cell phone.

    Kickball Thursday (more anti-reflective tape) and Friday's an Old Chicago happy hour followed possibly by Tent Party.

    Also, I was the top scorer in 1 fantasy football league (sorry for the upset DW) and beat Kevin Farmer even after all his trash talking. Priest Holmes who??? :) Next time, we'll have to wager something.

    Peace out.

  • Friday, September 10, 2004

    Thank you!

    Thanks Hyser, for taking all of those fantastic photos on Friday night. I can't wait to see what the roof of my mouth looks like!

    Thanks Farmer, for driving us to the State Fair and for eating my 2 favorite things with me - Pronto Pups and Corn. I knew you were good shit. This is just further proof. Also, thanks to all of you for partaking in my virgin beer tent experience. The karoake nearly killed Hyser, but the Skyy seemed to revive her.

    Thanks Stand Up Franks for barely leaving me standing.

    Thanks Stacy and Brian for having us over for the great party and to all of your guests for eating all the wings! Ryan thanks everyone in the tourney for letting him take the hold 'em championship :)

    Thanks Ryan for taking care of your sick girlfriend on Monday.

    Bowling starts tomorrow! We're picking up Ryan's new ball tonight and will roll a few games. Tomorrow is also Heather & Mike's anniversary! Congratulations on 5 great years! Sunday, we take the court at Fletcher's.

    Have a great weekend! Go VIKES!

    Friday, September 03, 2004

    The Burbs

    I can't believe it's been a week! So much is new. Including my driver's side window and tire, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Last Friday I was to meet Ryan at Tony's in Apple Valley. I'd agreed to help out with their draft and heckle as often as possible. I left at 5 hoping to arrive around 6. Traffic was surprisingly light and I got to Eagan at 5:20 so I met Ryan at his parents' house. We decided to take one car to Tony's leaving my car parked happily in the street.

    I was armed with Jägermeister and my laptop, both integral to a successful draft. The draft went by quickly and unfortunately for my heckling, nobody drafted David Boston. Post-draft, Brad started a fire and we s'mored and studied Tony's Big Bang Fargo Theory. He believes the city is about to explode and will have its very own NFL team within the next 5-10 years. Personally, I think the only thing close to that prediction is that maybe an NFL player will do 5-10 years there. But what do I know? It got pretty late so we decided to spend the night on the couch.

    Ryan got a phone call at 9am. There was an exasperated "What?!?" followed by a short conversation I tried desperately to tune out. I'd been pretty successful, but I was unable to unhear, "We have to go, your car was vandalized last night". I realized quickly that there was nothing I could do and that crying or kicking something would not accomplish anything. It's funny to me that I can keep calm and stay collected when something big happens, but if I forget something at home, I lose my head. Anyway, we headed to Ryan's parents' to find they'd already finished most of the cleanup themselves. I can't thank them enough for all of their help. It would have taken us all day to do the job ourselves.

    I'm not surprised that there are kids that are this pathetically bored. I just hope it ends here, that they don't graduate to bigger and better things. But I'm sure their path to destruction is already paved well into the future. I find it frustrating that I spend 80% of my time in Minneapolis; downtown, uptown, northeast; And nothing's ever happened. I spend 12 hours in Eagan and my driver's window and front tire is slashed. In EAGAN! This was the 5th incident reported at 9am last Saturday and I'm sure there were more. The weekend prior, 11 cars were damaged and about a month ago, 20+ more and 4 cars were stolen out of garages. All within a 5 mile radius. I know the police can't be everywhere and I have to trust they're doing their jobs. Still, I can't help being pissed that they didn't do a better job of notifying the neighborhood that a rash of vandalism was running rampant! Anyway, at least noone was hurt and it was easy to fix. Besides, I actually don't mind changing tires and my car is spotless now. I must mention that Minneapolis has about 9,500 reported acts of vandalism a year where Eagan has 500. This is not the kind of luck I was hoping for!

    I helped out with another draft on Saturday and impressed them with my "Favre" spelling skills. We didn't end up making the concert but Hyser and Pam had fun. Although they were still defrosting when they got home around midnight :)

    On Monday, I met with an orthopedic specialist and my personal trainer. My shoulder wasn't getting any better and it's been about 6 weeks of not being able to lift my arm straight out at my side. The bad news is that it is, as suspected, my rotator cuff. The good news is that it's not an injury exactly, it's a mis-alignment that can be remedied by specific strengthening exercises and stretching. I still can't believe my personal trainer took time out of her busy day to come with me to this appointment - I don't imagine that it's common for that kind of support. Basically, my ribcage is closer to my hip on my right side, like I'm leaning over. This is pulling my shoulder blade back - instead of it being flat it's out a bit. To compensate, my shoulder is forward and is putting pressure on my rotator cuff. He showed me all of this in the mirror. My right shoulder is at least an inch lower than my left and my right collarbone sticks out much further than my left since my shoulder's forward. He thinks strengthening my back muscles to support my shoulder blade and lengthening my abdominal muscles.will do the trick in about a month. At first I thought that was pretty optimistic, but after 4 days of paying more attention to my posture and shoulder position and carrying my bag on my right side more often, I already have twice the range of motion and hardly any pain. Also, I slept through the night last night - first time I haven't woken up in excruciating pain in weeks!

    Ryan moved into his new place! It's great - faces a nice courtyard and grilling area and it's HUGE! He's going to love having his freedom and a place to call his own. We've been busy moving/settling this week and will do more of the same tonight. After domestication, we might meet up with Farmer, Berg and/or Hyser. Minnetonka's calling!

    Tomorrow Farmer, Hyser, Ryan & I do the fair and maybe more Minnetonka-ing. Sunday I'm making the famous teriyaki wings and we're heading to Stacy and Brian's for some Texas Hold 'Em and football and dancing and drinking. Not necessarily in that order!

    I hope you all have a great holiday weekend! Be safe! Enjoy the sunshine. If you're in FL, go north!

    6 days until kickoff! Tailgating will commence on the 12th. Be there or be square.

    Thursday, August 26, 2004

    Ketchup

  • Just thinking of La Belle Vie still makes my mouth water.

  • Ryan and I watched the Twins destroy the Indians on Friday the 20th and met up with Hyser and Jill at where else, but the Refuge. Naturally we ordered Pizza Luce on our way home. I swear they pipe the aroma into the streets and we're weak. Resistance is futile. The delivery driver passed us on Main St. He recognized us and gave us a ride home. He recognized us. Enough said.

  • Saturday, we went to Dune's new Pro Shop at the Medina Entertainment Center. If you have any bowling equipment needs, Dune's your man. Not only are his prices extremely competitive, he will go the extra mile to make sure he gets you rolling the ideal ball and will drill it right the first time. He watched me bowl 2 balls last year and gave me 2 tips. I worked on it for 3 games and I started hitting a lot more strikes. Anyway, Heather got a heavier, more aggressive ball and Ryan bought his first ever bowling ball. Hyser's response? "Berger, you're just going to suck him in aren't you?!" Yes, my main mission in life is to spread the bowling addiction. Someone's got to keep Bowler's Anonymous in business! We hung out at Heather & Mike's for awhile - watched the Olympics as Claudia entertained us.

  • Kevin Farmer grilled us up some roasted corn, brats and polish sausages before The Draft. He's quite the Master Griller. Also, Ryan couldn't get enough of the Von Hanson's beef jerkey and beef sticks. This was a low-calorie meal.

  • The Draft. It's your chance to prove that the NFL players play for you, and only you, on any given Sunday. Your role as the Monday Morning Quarterback has never been more coveted. If you fail, you will fall victim to the heckles and laughter of your rivals. But if you succeed, you will raise your 13th beer and drink to the soldiers you've chosen to represent you in this 16 week war of pride. It's what I live for. Well, not really, but it was true on Saturday. In proper Geek-Style, I arrived with my laptop in tow. This was an auction-style draft and I was nervous. Stay below your $200 salary cap, but don't leave money on the table. Go after who you want, but don't overpay. Look for great values, but don't forget even steals take up a roster spot. Nominate someone you think others will overpay for to drain their cap early on, but don't get caught doing this in later rounds - you'll get stuck with him. My strategy was to observe at first. Bid up to my figured values, but not overpay. Get to know the other managers, find their weaknesses and go in for the kill. I was a little too conservative - I left $19 on the table which means I could have had Moss or Holmes even, but I have a solid team.
    (A. Brooks, J. Plummer, D. McAllister, C. Dillon, R. Johnson, T. Jones, K. Jones, D. Mason, K. Robinson, R. Smith, B. Lloyd, J. Shockey, D. Graham, J. Elam, J. Brown). They should be fairly consistent and I think I'm a few good pick-ups from a playoff bound team. Too bad I didn't think about the Brooks/McAllister combination more carefully, but you can't win them all! I'm an instant auction fan - I would recommend it to anyone. That is, if you're man enough.

  • Post-draft, we headed downtown. Hyser met us at the Refuge and we danced until the lights came on. As if we could resist Pizza Luce.

  • Ryan and I headed up to Fletcher's early on Sunday and ran a few set/spike drills. It was just Josh, Katie, Ryan and I and we dominated the match. Won all 3 games and stopped at Champps for dinner on the way home. We watched the Olympics until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer.

  • As part of our anniversary present, I took Ryan to the Vikings Intra-Squad Scrimmage on Tuesday. It was at the National Sports Center in Blaine. There was a great turnout and the teriyaki turkey on a stick was actually worth $5! We had a few beers, took a few pictures and tried to get a player, any player's, signature. I was surprised nobody was eager to interact with the fans - after all, this would be the final hoorah for many who will be cut this week. Against all odds, Lesnar won't be one of them. Maybe it's not too much of a surprise. After all, his jersey is already for pre-order. After the game, we had pizza at Tasty Pizza in Blaine. It was just like I remembered it. Some call it cardboard - I call it heaven in a box! Afterwards we revisited where it all began... we had a beer at BeBops. Oh the memories :) Are we driving around in circles?

  • Hyser and I had Arroz con Pollo at Acapulco before heading up to Bentley's last night. Mexican Stir-fry rocks. Ryan met up with us and we hung out with Wendy, Emily, Dan and the gang. It was fun. Hyser and I laughed because we went out to meet up with everyone since she hasn't seen them in ages and well, I don't get up there on as many Wednesdays in the summer, but ended up talking to each other most of the night anyway.

  • Tonight is our first kickball game. I'm just hoping not to get smacked in the head with the big red ball.

  • Ryan has a couple of fantasy football drafts himself this weekend and Saturday Hyser, Pam, Ryan & I are going to Float-rite Park for the Projekt Revolution Tour. Because it's been awhile since the last time we mud-wrestled.

    Love and Placekickers,
    Cari

  • Monday, August 16, 2004

    Victory!

    We were putting up runs like nobody's business on Friday. Pro Service didn't stand a chance. Final score was 23-1.

    Also, I escaped without injury. I didn't even have to slide, dive or execute any double-twist, double-tuck, and front-layout combinations.

    I grilled on Saturday - whipped up a mesquite barbecue pork tenderloin, potatoes, onions and mushrooms and roasted corn. I'm still getting to know my grill - seems that for indirect heat, you do have to put coals on both sides and cook in the middle - piling the heat up on one side with the meat on the other cooks far too slowly. So this was another meal in courses - fresh mozzerella garlic bread, followed by corn and finally the main course. Meanwhile, the Vikings were beating the Cardinals in our pre-season debut. It's rumored that Denny Green shed a tear as he left the dome.

    At about 10pm, Ryan, Kevin, Noah, Steve and Chris walked to Nye's, then to Champps where we met Nate and Chara/Charlie/Char... I feel awful because "Char" and I spend much of the night talking incessantly and I really really like her - even gave her my e-mail address so we can keep in touch and yet it seems I may have mis-heard her name since I thought it was "Char" and Ryan heard "Chara" or "Charlie" with a soft "ch". Anyway, we had a lot of fun and hopefully the Minneapolis newbies enjoyed the scene. We all piled into Nate's Liberty and had another beer at Hyser's & my place. Naturally ABC made it into the mix and proved everyone knows the words to "Iesha".

    Sunday, Ryan and I enjoyed the best turkey sandwiches ever and watched the US get tromped on by Puerto Rico. It's no longer the Dream Team folks. The volleyball action was much better and geared us up for Fletchers. We headed up an hour early and ran some drills. Seemed to help us a lot - Ryan and I had a rhythm all 3 games. We won all 3 and stuck around for some just-for-fun play. I'm working on my setting. The goal for next year is to have my back-set down. Maybe even the upside-down-backwards-between-the-legs set.

    Today is Ryan and my 1 year anniversary. It's hard to believe it's already been 365 days! I've felt lucky every single day since we met and can't imagine being anywhere else or anywhere safer. We're celebrating at La Belle Vie in Stillwater. Instead of the rain they predicted last week, it should be very pleasant - sunny and 70's. Perfect for a nice post-dinner walk. I can hardly wait!

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    Tapas

  • 7 days ago: Celebrated the MMSS project completion at Sweeney's Saloon & Grille in St. Paul. Couldn't have asked for a better group to celebrate with. Too bad the service was horrific.

  • 6 days ago: Spent time with Emily and Luke - met Lily (who makes my urge to get my own puppy nearly uncontrollable), burned stuff and made s'mores. Also, see laughter and 3am.

  • 5 days ago: Saw Grandma in Princeton. The nursing home is very nice. She's doing OK, but I'm scared for her and hurt for Grandpa. Please pray for them. Grandpa, Shari, Rob, Mom and I had dinner at The Frontier. Their coleslaw was just like KFC.

  • 4 days ago: Ryan and I took in a Twins game. The A's held them in the 9th and they ended up going into 18 innings! Unfortunately, they lost. We played 3 volleyball games at Fletchers and hurried home to grill up some spiced burgers and cheddarwursts. Mmm-mm, sausage.

  • 3 days ago: I finally made it back to the healthclub. Amazing how 2 weeks of missed workouts can make you feel like a sissy.

  • 2 days ago: Hyser and I enjoyed some girl time at Chevy's. Because they have margaritas and the thinest, tastiest chips within 4 miles. Also, we had a coupon. Sadly, we had to order the chocolate ooey-gooey-chewy sundae in order to use the coupon. Who would have thought that a rich warm brownie topped with ice cream and real whipping cream could end up netting you $5? (and probably 5 pounds!)

  • 1 day ago: I made it to the healthclub again - impressed since it tends to be hard for me to get back on the wagon once I fall off. Especially since this workout literally kicks my ass. 24 squats+12 lunges on each leg+24 alternating step lunges+12 squat jumps in 90 seconds. Times 2. My trainer hates me.

  • Today: I had lunch with Ken and Connie. Ken's recovering from his knee surgery well. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed way too much Chinese food at the Fortune House in Roseville.

  • Tomorrow: In between meetings I'm going to sneak off to have lunch with Emily. I'm exchanging my drapes and my old PC for her company. And who says you can't buy love???

  • In 4 days: 365 days ago this day, the St. Paul Saints played the Joliet Jackhammers. The Saints might have lost 8-3 but something else was won. Hyser, Mandy & Scot were witnesses. Here ends all cheesiness.

    Hope you're all doing well!

  • Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    Berger's Burger

    Hyser sent this to me:

    The story goes that it's from Denny's Beer Barrel Pub and contains:

    • 6 lbs of hamburger

    • 1 lg onion

    • 2 whole tomatoes

    • 1/2 head of lettuce

    • 1 1/4 lb cheese

    • 1 plate sized bun

    • 1/2 cup ketchup

    • 1/2 cup mustard

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

    • 1/2 cup relish

    • 1 cup banana peppers

    • and 6 dill pickle spear quarters to top it off

    Apparently you have 3 hours to eat this monstrosity and you win a year's supply of Pepto Bismol. (Just kidding about the last part).

    Also, it looks like it's true.

    We both misspelled "burger" berger. That's right, I'm larger than life and bound to cause heartburn.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Adventures in BBQ'ing

    It's funny how things start small... as in Hyser mentions Big Head Todd plays somewhere in Minneapolis on July 31st. This was early in the month so we decided we'd eventually stumble upon the details and make our way to see them.

    Then Jason Berg is sent to Spain for 3 weeks - his return date is 7/30. I told him about Big Head Todd and he said he'd like to check it out. I figured I could grill up something before we all headed downtown.

    Which led to inviting Kevin Farmer up from Dubuque. And somehow my "famous" ribs came up which led to an all out BBQ.

    I don't mean to bore you, but I have to document this so that next time I decide to have a little BBQ, I will either enlist an army of help or think brats.

    I've been craving chicken salad so that was a no-brainer. Also, I HAD to make a double batch so that there would be leftovers. Maybe next time I'll consider that it takes 3 hours to make a double batch since I don't have a bowl as big as the state of Texas in which to mix it in. Also, I'm a perfectionist so this means I find a way to make several smaller batches and then mix bits of each together so that they're consistent in taste and texture.

    I recently got a knock-off recipe for KFC coleslaw so I gave that a shot. Forget about the fact that you have to chop a whole head of cabbage into pieces the size of RICE.

    I worked an extremely early shift on Friday so I could rub the ribs down, make the spinach dip, chip dip and coleslaw. Ryan and I played 2 softball games, came home to clean up and met Kevin at Blondies in the BP. After the bar, we made a double-batch of Special K bars.

    Saturday morning, I made the beer bread, started the grill smoking, put on the ribs, cut up the bars, chopped the veggies, de-silked the corn and started setting everything up for the guests. Ryan ran to the liquor store for beer and cub for the last minute items.

    Chad and Wendy were the first to arrive, then Kevin, Berg and Jeff. The ribs were supposed to be done at 4 but I must not have had the heat high enough so I threw on more coals and kept them smoking. It's probably a good thing that they took longer - otherwise I'd have all of the appetizers leftover too!

    The ribs still had a couple of hours left at 7pm so I started on the corn. I slathered on the special butter, wrapped them up and grilled them. We joked about this being a 6 course meal and the corn kept everyone happy for another couple of hours.

    9pm comes around and the ribs are obviously done by now but they're not falling off the bone like they usually are. There's about an hour standing between us at this point. We decide to give them 30 more minutes and go back to the spinach dip and beer.

    The ribs were gone within 5 minutes. I'm not kidding. They may not have been the usual falling-off-the-bone tender but they were the best tasting ribs I've ever made!

    Everyone helped clean up and we (Hyser, Ryan, Farmer, Berg, Jeff, Steve and crap, I forgot his name) headed to The Drink.

    We had a couple of drinks, then left the stand-still-smelly-drunk crowd for the Refuge. This would be where I became smelly drunk. But that's besides the point.

    I'd like to say I escaped Saturday night injury free, but I can't tell a lie. I am so glad everyone was able to make it though and that they enjoyed the food and company. That's what it's all about! My only regret is not taking any pictures. Of the food, not the aftermath :)

    Until the Vikings' first home game... oh how I can't wait! I so have my rib game on!

    ***Later...
    How could I forget the irony of the fact that Big Head Todd was playing at Ribfest at the exact moment that our ribs came off the grill. And though the band was the instigator for the BBQ, we neither saw, heard nor walked by the festival at any point of the night.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    Peace

    Wow did I get a breath of fresh air this week! I've been wound up so tightly lately I literally squeezed the real me out! I really overwhelmed myself and started to feel really out of control and scared that I'd never find my footing again. And it was affecting every aspect of my life. So I started writing stuff down on Tuesday. It's amazing how theraputic that can be. While I was writing, all of these things seemed to be so ominous and I felt like there were endless issues. When I'd finished, I already felt better but when I read through the pages I realized that it's really quite simple. It all boils down to me biting off more than I can chew and taking responsibility for everybody else's feelings. I never ask for help. And I probably should apologize for it because I'm sure my friends have wanted to help and might even feel bad when I don't ask or accept their help thinking that I don't trust them enough to help. It's not that at all. I associate getting help as a sign of weakness and vulnerability and feel like I'm being a burden. It's ironic that I feel that way since I'm so quick to help everyone else and I really enjoy helping my friends so why would I feel bad asking them to help me? So I asked for help. And it was good. And I don't think I've ever felt this loved or appreciated in my whole life. I wish I would have done so sooner.

    Monday, July 05, 2004

    Fireworks

    We had a great 4th. We spent all day on my Dad's boat. It was gorgeous weather and we got a lot of sun. We cleaned up, had dinner at Majors and headed over to Jason's. It was a great mix of people and Kevin Farmer was in town. Nothing like some Dominican Rum and Cubans to make a party! Couldn't have asked for more. And then there was the fire. And fireworks. And the throwing of fireworks into the fire. I got so used to the noise I even stopped covering my ears! Ryan's so thoughtful, he worked it out so we could leave early and head over to Heather & Mike's so we could spend some time with his friends and some with mine. We got to Heather & Mike's at about 11:30 or so, maybe midnight. My ex-boyfriend was there. We're all adults but our not being prepared for it put Ryan in a strange position. In the end it turned out OK, but I'll never understand why you'd want to hang out with your ex's family and friends, especially on a holiday. Ryan, of course, handled himself like a champ and didn't even complain about it. I'm not sure that I would have been that strong, tactful or quiet.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    STRESS!

    I'm trying to enjoy the beautiful night it is - the weather is just phenomenal. But I'm screaming inside. Things at work are going better. I'm learning a lot and definitely honing skills that will prove to be awesome for my career. But I have some opportunities and the timing is just so wrong. So I'm uncertain. Do you stay and gain experience for a possible future position that just might be perfect? Or do you go for something that's better, great even; just not perfect? I suppose it's like being in a relationship. You can't settle, right? But how do you know if you're settling? I hate that all of this uncertainty about work; where I'm going to live after Halloween - it's making me uncertain about EVERYTHING. So I'm sure I'm being unnecessarily difficult. Sorry Ryan.

    In case I don't get back to this before the weekend - Enjoy the 4th! Be safe, have fun. Drink a beer for me :)

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    You know it's bad...

    When you have to pee at 9am and realize at 2:30pm that you haven't gone yet.

    Pretty much the story of my life for the past couple of weeks.

    I don't think anyone really missed me, except for maybe Jason which is such a pleasant surprise because I mean, if I were in jail, at least SOMEONE would notice and possibly bail my sorry ass out.

    I'm just kidding. I'm sure my landlord would notice when the rent went unpaid.

    But seriously. The Wolves game was awesome. The best seats I've ever had and the beer was seriously delicious. So delicious in fact that I had to have 1 too many. Luckily I was able to contain my drunken stupor until we met my cousin and her husband at Urban Wildlife for 3 shots of Jägermeister and sword fights with the Timberwolves Thunder Sticks. I cherish those Thunder Sticks. You'd think they were filled with gold. Or magical beans.

    My recollection was that Heather and Mike had to go home but apparently I had a drunken moment of sanity and decided that I, in fact, was too drunk to be in public and that Ryan and I should go home. Once outside the door I asked Ryan if we should go home, or go to meet Jill at the Refuge. He said home but I went to the Refuge with him in tow. We stayed for exactly 97 seconds - the precise amount of time it took me to almost fall over and drop a glass of water. We took a cab home because I didn't want to walk but half way home I felt too sick and asked to get out. I began running home. In sexy strappy 4" heeled sandals. I either didn't realize that I was on a curb and forgot that curbs end at intersections, or have bad night vision, or was too drunk to care either way. Anyhow, I fell face first in the middle of the street. Ryan can attest to the fact that I didn't stumble or make any effort to catch myself. It was as if I didn't even realize I was falling until I bit the asphalt. I did save the thunder stick however, sacrificing the back of my right hand. I mean, I can't lose my magic beans people - they're magic.

    I'm still amazed that the only injury sustained was a tiny scrape on the back of my hand. Sadly it's one of those that will never ever heal and I will have a scab on the back of my hand until I'm 30.

    So what other chaos have I been up to? Friday the 4th was our 2nd softball double-header. You may remember that I scraped up my right knee during our first game - the first at bat to be exact. Not to be outdone, I proceeded to slide at least 10 times. Most of them head-first in a vain attempt to protect my newly healed knee. My 2nd to last at bat I slid into 2nd, 3rd and home. The ump was concerned about my health, actually more accurately, probably my mental health. The other team was pissed off and I found out why after the game. I thought we were losing 14-16 when in fact, we were winning 14-6. So here's this girl taking extra bases, trying to be Torri Hunter when we're leading by 8 in the 4th inning. I guess I'd think it was a little unnecessary too. For the record, I was never out. And there was a play each time so I did actually have to slide to earn the run. So there. My suggestion? Buy stock in band-aids. I'm thinking it's on the rise.

    My work buddy, Emily, is gone :(. But she left for a really great opportunity and she deserves the very best. I'm never going to take breaks without her! We partied at the Blue Fox Friday after work. Jill and Mandy came. It was a lot of fun. Although I told stories I shouldn't and danced way too much.

    My great aunt Peg turned 88 and had a birthday party on Saturday. It was great to see everyone - it's been way too long! She's doing great and is very happy and fun. I want half of what she has when I'm 88 :)

    I hope you're all well and happy and enjoying this beautiful weather! July is a much slower month for me - NO MORE WEDDINGS!!! Yay!

    Hopefully I'll pull myself out of this crazy funk I'm in today. I just didn't start the day on the right foot. I need medication in the form of beer. I mean, I haven't had a beer in like 2 days. No wonder I'm not feeling well.

    Later...

    Tuesday, May 25, 2004

    Dancing Divas

    Sam, Alex and Allison were dancing divas this past Sunday. I hear they were adorable and had a lot of fun impressing the crowd at Orchestra Hall.

    I was planning on going to their rehearsal since volleyball meant missing the actual show, but celebrating Nick's wedding + Josh's freedom sort of took its toll.

    I talked to Heather yesterday. I'm going to see Rob tonight - the first chance I've had to see him since he was readmitted to the hospital last week (He's been home since Wednesday and is doing great). Afterwards I'm going to see where the Rymers are. Hopefully I can catch them at dance class.

    Tomorrow after basket class, Ryan and I are meeting the "girls" up at McSeans for Susie's surgery sendoff. She's seeing her doc on Friday and will be at home resting over the weekend. She's strong. And beautiful. And I'm scared for her but her strength lets me know she's going to be just fine.

    Friday Ryan and I are spending the night up in Hinckley. I'm going to win off my birthday bucks. Or else I'll be spending the night in the hot tub :)

    Have a great week!!

    Monday, May 17, 2004

    E'rbody In The Bus Get Tipsy...

    Stacy's bachelorette party theme song.

    We kicked some ass and took some names. Also, we had so much fun it couldn't be legal. Ginny is a party expert. (I'm definitely recruiting her someday *wink* *wink*). She got together a group of 15 gorgeous girls wherein there was no drama and we rode in a luxury bus complete with a stocked liquor cabinet, coolers full of beer, crystal glasses, a DVD player and a CD player pumping out Stacy's favorite tunes.

    I feel so lucky to have been able to celebrate with Stacy and her girls! Congratulations on the 22nd, love, I hope all of your dreams come true!

    See you and Brian soon!

    Friday, May 14, 2004

    Intemperance

    The glorious self-indulgence started Friday when Ryan and I met his family at the Cheesecake Factory for his sister's birthday. I had Pad Thai even though there's nothing Thai about cheesecake. It was excellent but the cheesecake almost made us cry. We had White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. I'm sure it'll save someone's life someday. At the very least, someone's marriage.

    After dinner, we headed straight to Prior Lake for our 1st annual softball game. We were up to bat first. My first at bat, I slid into 2nd base scraping up my right knee. I'm too old for skinned knees! Ryan made a great catch in centerfield while I sat out in left field picking daisies. I'm going to like this every-other-week-double-header business. Just as many games with half the chance of injury. (Injuries incurred on the same day at the same event count as 1 total injury). Also said injury will have 2 weeks to heal before being slid upon again. Bonus.

    A few drinks later at Elsie's and Berger was, how do you say? drunk. Also, the bartender was making and remaking balloon animals. I was fascinated. I'd watched my Dad do this hundreds of times when I was little. I was sure I remembered how. Sadly, it was the Corona that was sure I remembered how. I attempted once and popped it immediately.

    Saturday Ryan and I had our 1st of 3 tennis lessons. Just in case you're wondering, the Crosstown Northwest Athletic Club is NOT close to Minneapolis. It's in Eden Prairie. It's too early to have to drive to Eden Prairie. Besides, I still had Corona in my system! We worked out for awhile, went home, got ready, talked Jill into heading up to the Gastof's tent party at about 6. It was such a beautiful day - we were afraid all of the tables would be taken, but only about 25 of the die hards were there that early! Jill's parents, their friends, John and Marica, Jill's aunt Luann and Dwight came. Emily and Dan, Chad and Wendy. Jason Berg. It was awesome. Also, we won champagne. Starting that early takes its toll on us old folks. Ryan was out before midnight and the rest of us were out by 1. We really know how to whoop it up!

    We took Ryan's family and my Mom out to the California Café for Mother's Day. Everything was great. We had more cheesecake. I think I'm going to need new pants ;) It was sunny and beautiful outside when we got home, but when we woke up from our nap, there were tornado warnings everywhere. They were estimating winds of 80 MPH across Lake Minnetonka. Needless to say, volleyball was cancelled, but Ryan and I had a great time watching the wall cloud swallow downtown Minneapolis whole. We got a little hail, a ton of water and winds that nearly knocked me over. We watched TV and got to lay in bed all night. And that's what Sundays were made for :)

    My Dad took me out to lunch on Monday. We went to Big Bowl at Rosedale. The food was great and it was nice to spend some time with him one on one. For dinner, Ryan and I met my Mom, Shari and Rob at the Sunshine Factory. I had Sea Bass in a peach cream sauce. It was delicious! Ryan, my Mom and I headed into the bistro for a cocktail and the Wolves game. Heather and Jill joined us and we closed it down! My Mom even braved bar close!

    Ryan took me to St. Petersburg for our birthday dinner on Tuesday. It's this quaint Russian restaurant and vodka bar in Robbinsdale. We stopped there in time for last call just before the new year and loved it. What a great boyfriend I have. He not only allows me to celebrate my birthday 4 days in a row but remembers I said I wanted to have dinner there 4 + months ago and surprises me with reservations. The food did not disappoint. Neither did the service nor the company. The Wodka made me late for work on Wednesday, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Especially since I got to see Kari and catch up for a bit. She's in New York City testing out the public transportation system. And she knows Linux so you should like her.

    We met my Dad and Nancy for another birthday dinner on Thursday. P. F. Changs does have excellent lettuce wraps. Also, the Dan Dan Noodles are actually spicy!

    I was totally spoiled this year. Gastof's tent party with my friends, lots of decadent food and spirits. And such wonderful gifts from everyone. I'm truly lucky. Also, I didn't fall down any stairs this year.

    Thank you everyone for all of your birthday wishes and for being there to celebrate with me! I love you guys!

    Friday, May 07, 2004

    Wonderment

    Chad and Wendy's wedding was wonderful.

    Thursday, Emily and I brought Wendy to our friend Lynn's for a star tan. Wendy was just radiant.

    Friday was the Groom's Dinner at Donatelli's in White Bear. The rehearsal went well and dinner was fantastic.

    Emily and I got up bright and early Saturday to get our hair done. The hairdresser thought we had more time than we did but she managed to finish both of us in an hour and 15 minutes. It looked great and wasn't going to move if life depended on it.

    Finally it was time. Wendy was patiently waiting while the rest of us couldn't hide our excitement. When the doors opened to the church and Chad saw her for the first time that day, he smiled like I've never seen him smile before.

    We took group pictures, then Emily and I met our guys and Em's family at Acapulco for a margarita or 2. The reception started at 5. The food was great, the dancing was fun, and you've never seen 2 more comfortable, happy people in your entire life. Everything was beautiful.

    Every time I see Ryan he looks at me and hugs me in such a way that I know he's genuinely happy to see me. And I melt. I seriously never thought it was possible for this intensity, this excitement to last like this. And maybe it's naive, but I truly feel like it could last like this forever.

    After the reception, Susie, Emily, Luke, Dan, Ryan and I went to the Bird to meet up with Stacy and Ginny. Thanks to the red bull, we made it until closing time!

    Ryan and I went to the gift opening on Sunday. Afterwards, we bowled and played basketball at the healthclub. I worked on my lay-ups. I shoot right-handed now, but my feet are still left-handed. The few times I did manage to jump off of my left foot, I ended up shooting the ball with my left hand. I'm still in disbelief over my newfound shooting ability.

    I was invited to my aunt Shari's birthday dinner on Tuesday. The Olive Garden breadsticks will be the end of me!

    I got to see Becky and Jameson last night! He is just a gorgeous baby. So happy and content. Full of discovery. Amazing.

    Tonight, we head to the Cheesecake Factory for Ryan's sister's birthday dinner (I'm totally skipping dinner and going straight for the cheesecake), then to a late softball game in Prior Lake. Yes, Iowa. :) Tomorrow is my birthday party - if you're free, e-mail me - I'll hook you up with all the juicy details! Also, tomorrow Ryan and I have our first of 3 tennis lessons. $20, 3 lessons and a free racquet. Can't go wrong. So there's a good chance I will have a black eye at my birthday party. Tomorrow, my Mom and I are joining Ryan's family for a Mother's Day brunch. Then we're off to Fletcher's for our first volleyball game. *breathe*

    Monday is the actual birthday although I'm not actually turning a year older. I'm staying the same age until Ryan catches up to me. We're having dinner with my Mom and then bowling with Heather and Mike. It'll be the first night of our 4 person spring bowling league. New Hope didn't drum up enough interest to form a full league so we're taking matters into our own hands.

    Because we thought bowling was going to start on the 10th, Ryan made dinner plans for Tuesday. Therefore, I get to celebrate for 2 days. I am the luckiest girl in the entire world.

    Have a great weekend!

    125 days until kick-off!

    Thursday, April 29, 2004

    Franklin, My Dear

    In 1 day and a wake-up, Chad and Wendy will be Mr. and Mrs. Franklin.

    And I couldn't be happier!

    Friday, April 23, 2004

    Catch Me If You Can

    Grandpa's surgery went great and he was very proud of his eye-patch. I promised to buy him a parrot to complete the ensemble.

    Rob is doing just great. He's feeling good and has this great positive energy about him.

    Tim's surgery was a huge success and he should be home now enjoying the comforts of home.

    I can't describe the gigantic sense of relief that I feel now that everyone is safely on the road to recovery!

    The bowling banquet was a blast! The ring toss game was a huge hit -everybody loved their goofy prizes. Rick wore the kiddie innertube. It was a riot. We can't really wish the summer away, but we can't really wait until next fall. So we're all planning on getting together a couple of times this summer and everyone's excited for Ryan to bowl with us next year.

    The turkey dinner came out great! I couldn't have done it without all of Ryan's help. The 22 lb bird took 8.5 hours to cook! Jill's Dad said he's going to do the turkey that way next Thanksgiving. Also, chicken salad rocks.

    I finished Wendy's flower girl basket and her bachelorette party is tomorrow. Chad and Wendy will be married in 7 days! I can't wait!

    My personal trainer is sweet. She's smart, pretty and kind. Yet she's really mean to my triceps. I have no idea why she has the propensity to tricep destruction, but I must find a way to stop her. Also push-ups suck. But I can do 15 real ones now. In a row!

    Have a great weekend! Beware of downtown Minneapolis, there are 2 bachelorette parties I'm supposed to be at on Saturday. If we wind up at the same bar, I coud manage to be at 2 parties at once. Multi-tasker.

    Thursday, April 15, 2004

    Updates

    We visited Rob at Unity last night. He's doing great! He's moving around well and is in good spirits. He gets to go home today! We're very relieved that he's on the road to recovery.

    Grandpa should be done with his cataract surgery by now and should be home within an hour.

    I think I have everything planned out for this weekend. Who knew a casual turkey dinner would take so much planning?!?? Now accepting volunteers to do laundry, clean floors or chop onions. I offer a competitive celery and comprehensive benefits - something from every food group! Including chocolate.

    Monday, April 12, 2004

    Ups and Downs

      What's been done:
    • Going to happy hour with Hyser's company's law firm ensures at least 20 appetizers will be ordered. Also, you will be punished if you actually finish a drink before ordering a new one.
    • The season-ticket-holders' bar in section 109 slums it by opening its doors to the general public at the top of the 5th inning. They no longer have 2-for-1's. But they have a flat screen TV.
    • McDonalds by our house is open 24 hours. We're very sorry we know this.
    • I'm almost done with Wendy's flowergirl basket.
    • Emily and I went to my friend Lynn's house on Thursday to be Star Tanned. It's an airbrush tan that's phenomenal! Interested? Drop me a line! First time client special 2 for $40 or it's $25 per tan. A tan lasts for 7-10 days. It's an all natural product and looks fantastic. Also, Lynn's a painter and a perfectionist.
    • We went to Majors in Bloomington on Thursday night for a benefit for Dru Sjodin. Her Mom and many of her friends were there. Not a single soul left without feeling a deep sense of loss, but hope and love at the same time.
    • Jason Berg won 2 tickets to anywhere on Sun Country airlines. Complete with a limo ride to the airprt.
    • Hyser and I went to Hutchinson Saturday morning for Mandy's bridal shower. We had Whiskey in Biscay. Ryan met us at the apartment and we headed to the Refuge for power hour. Then Brothers. I might have had too much cranberry juice. Or maybe it was the vodka.
    • Ryan and I spent all day at my Mom's for Easter. She cooks up a mean dinner!

      What's to come:

    • My uncle Rob is having major surgery tomorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with him and Shari. We all hope he has a speedy recovery.
    • My Grandpa is having cataract surgery on Thursday. It's a common procedure and on an out-patient basis. I'm going to call him on Wednesday to remind him not to wink at the nurses.
    • My Godfather is having major surgery on the 20th. My thoughts and prayers are also with him, Kathy and the kids.

      I'm scared, but I have faith in the doctors and the strength of our family.

    • This Saturday is the Saturday Nite Live bowling banquet and Sunday I'm making a big turkey dinner for Hyser's parents and my Mom.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    Oh Soy!

    So I've started using Revival Soy products. The obsession with soy started this spring/summer when I was really putting a lot of effort into living healthy. I used to work with Chad Woolson at Damark - it's been almost 10 years, but at the time he and his wife Regina were strict vegetarians. We were hiking in Taylors Falls when I had my first Tofu experience. Tofu, sprouts, avocado and tomato. I fell in love. So I've been having similar sandwiches minus the avocado for several months now. Problem is, tofu's not exciting and you seriously have to eat like 6 sandwiches a day to get the recommended amount of soy to see results. Benefits of soy include weight loss, lower fat absorption, higher fat metabolism, lowered risk of breast/prostrate cancer, relief from PMS/menopause symptoms - the list goes on.

    I would highly recommend this stuff to anyone - even the most discriminate taste-buds. I had a Chocolate Dream (Splenda) shake for breakfast and a Chocolate Raspberry Zing bar for lunch. Not only were they both really good, I'm full. Those who know me will understand the weight of this statement. I'm never full!

    Lately, I haven't had a lot of time to do the aerobic portion of my workout regimen. Still weight training every other day but in the past 2 weeks I've only done 2-20 minute cardio stints. I'm going to continue this (hopefully with a little more cardio) and see if the added soy protein actually helps me lose a few pounds. I'm about 7 lbs over what I was last August. I was sized for my bridesmaid's dress in August. It fits well, but it fit a lot better 7 months ago! Wish me luck!

    If you're interested in trying Revival Soy, contact me or leave a comment - they sent me a form that I can order free samples for friends.

    Friday, March 26, 2004

    Fuzzy Logic

    The parking lot at the Fridley Northwest Athletic Club is always a zoo, but especially if I go after work. I love how people fight over close parking spots at the health club.

    It's 58 degrees, the sun is shining and you're going to work out - is it really that important to nab that spot which is 3 places closer than one that wouldn't inconvenience 4 other drivers?

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    Isn't it still the weekend?

    It is with great sadness that I must report I did not meet my green beer quota on St. Patrick's Day. That's OK though because I think if I let the beer I have at home sit out long enough, it might turn green on its own.

    We had a great time - went to the Target Center to work out and then to Jess's party (after showering of course). She's hilarious, single now and moving back to Minneapolis in a year. Afterwards, we had a green beer at Old Chicago and played a game of Golden Tee. Then headed to Urban Wildlife for some live music. Somehow we managed to eat an entire Pizza Luce pie by ourselves. This must not become a habit.

    Ryan gave me a beautiful silver shamrock - the perfect symbol for the 25th anniversary and a claddagh candle. He's ever so thoughtful. I didn't think they made guys this nice, that hot and as much fun to be around. I mean, there's actually a happy medium of sweetness while living on the edge?

    I don't know how I would have made it through school this semester. Even without class I'm booked almost every day still. I think I'm insane and in need of clinical intervention.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2004

    Did you remember...

    to wear GREEN today???

    I've been in America for 25 years today.

    I feel that it's safe to say I'm the only Korean from a Swedish family who's life started on an Irish holiday.

    And for that, I will drink 25 green beers tonight. That is if a shot glass counts as 1 beer. Well, that's not entirely accurate because I may end up consuming more like 100 beers if that's the assumption. Don't worry, we're taking a cab and a few hours off of work tomorrow morning.

    Does it mean you're getting old when you anticipate your hangover and plan accordingly?

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy green beer, start all of your sentances with O' and be safe.

    O'Pretty please?

    Friday, March 12, 2004

    Fortune

    My fortune read:

    Tomorrow will be your greatest day at work

    So true since tomorrow's Saturday.

    Tuesday, March 09, 2004

    Notes

  • Abra fixed the steering column but alignment is still off as well as developed annoying brake squeak. Naturally they claim it doesn't have anything to do with the accident.

  • Bring car to Firestone to check on brakes. Turns out had rear brakes done in December. Need new front brakes. Funny since was told in December wouldn't have to replace other brakes for a year or so.

  • Firestone took 2 days to replace brake pads and turn rotors.

  • Picked car up, nearly rear ended car in parking lot as brake pedal went all the way to floor.

  • Also, made awful shirring sound when car was moving.

  • Brought car back but technician assured me this was normal and that the new brakes just needed breaking in.

  • Car pulls severely to left when braking. This is not so terrible at low speeds but if you need to slow down for idiots on the freeway, better make sure the left lane is open.

  • Made appointment to bring car back into Firestone.

  • Need to sell car, buy bike.

  • 3 more weeks of bowling. I can hardly wait - this means Spring is well on its way. Except that it's raining ice.

  • My personal trainer kicked my ass on Saturday. She's nice. But I don't like her anymore.

  • Helping Ryan housesit and take care of Rocco. Rocco is a 90 lb. German Shepard/Wolf mix. He accidentally bit me this Christmas when I tried to get his toy from him. I stealthly created a diversion and then went for the toy. I got the toy alright but unfortunately, so did he.

  • Rocco has applied and taken over the job as my protector. Ryan can't even kiss me without Rocco's close attention and warning whimper.

  • Rocco pees an average of 63 times on his 3 walks per day.

  • We're going to Hinckley this weekend to win a million dollars and more importantly to spend time with my family. Grandpa couldn't be happier.

  • There are 7.5 weeks until Wendy and Chad's nuptuals!

  • Volleyball starts the day before my birthday.

  • Ryan's the most perfect guy in the whole entire world. Well except that he has a soft spot for crazy women (me).

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2004

    Cars, Bowling Balls and Mardi Gras

    I got my car back Friday, but the steering column was way off and it drove itself left. I've always wanted a self-driving car but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

    Hyser came to bowling with us on Saturday. Doyle's is intoxicating.

    Sunday we were all in bed until 2pm. We got up to enjoy some of Sue's sensational lasagna. Also we made cheesy garlic bread. There was nothing low-cal about it.

    Monday we planned to go to the Fine Line with Weber, but we found out it was a Beach Party so we decided to eat at Chevy's instead. Grape Aped at the Loon, dropped Weber at his car and Hyser, Ryan and I held it up at the Drink where we drank. I figured out on Tuesday that we had a good excuse. We were celebrating Fat Tuesday Eve, duh.

    I dropped my car off at Abra again. I got it back today. It finally drives straight. Guess that means I don't have any excuses anymore!

    Tonight, I will swim, lift some weights, make baskets and play Golden Tee with the hottest man in the world.

    I took tomorrow and Friday off of work. I've come down with a vision problem. I just can't see myself coming into the office.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Monday, February 23, 2004

    Reason #137 to Let Them Figure Things Out on Their Own

    This by my adorable 4 year old 2nd cousin Alex. She's smarter than she may ever know.

    Alex very excited: Hey Daddy, I know what little girls are made of!
    Daddy: Really!? What?
    Alex with conviction: Sugar and Spice and everything nice.
    Daddy: That's right!
    Alex perplexed: I wonder what little boys are made of...
    Daddy: <shrugs his shoulders> Hmmm...
    Alex with delight: I know I know!! They're made of sugar and spice <pause> and wood.

    Friday, February 20, 2004

    Prelude

    I get my car back! I am so excited I almost cried!

    The first thing I'm going to do is sit inside, close the door, hug the steering wheel and tell her how much I love her. I mean, I almost lost her without expressing how greatly I appreciate her starting up every day and getting me places. I mean, I am a mover and a shaker! Without my beloved car, I'd surely shrivel up and die. Well at least I'd be a crabby miserable waste of a human being.

    I have to admit, however, I kind of liked the Impala. I feel like I've been cheating. Don't worry, baby, that chevy didn't mean anything to me.

    Tonight, I swim. Then, I shall Ryan (we're together so much, he's no longer just a noun). Hopefully we'll see Berg, Hyser and Mandy.

    Tomorrow we bowl. Sunday we devour lasagna that Hyser's Mom made especially for us. I hate to wish the weekend away, but I can hardly wait!

    Have a great weekend! You might want to avoid the NE Minneapolis area tonight. I won't be driving, but I will be in the area. And obviously, I'm dangerous.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    Valentine's Road Warriors

    Ryan took me to W.A. Frost in St. Paul. We were seated at a quiet table by the fire. It was wonderful. The food was awesome. He had roasted duck and I had Kamut & Wild Mushroom Roulade. It was as fancy as it sounds. Afterwards we took in some live music at the Turf Club. As if we could resist the Golden Tee. Ryan's getting to be quite the professional. Finishing below par and all. Me, I'm just happy to not be ending with a +40 something! We went to meet up with Weber thinking some drunken comedy was in order but he'd already went home. Or passed out. We're still not sure which story to believe :) But seriously, we had one for the beer tour and I got a free pizza. We stopped at Ryan's for a few movies and headed home to open our valentine's gifts. Ryan gave me 2 cards, a funny one and a more serious one, a box of pot of gold turtles that self-destructed within 30 seconds and the most adorable tank set from Victoria's Secret. I gave Ryan a box of Godiva goodness and tickets to the Marijuana-logues. We marveled over the treasure filled chocolates and fell asleep in each other's arms.

    I reluctantly got out of bed, started laundry and hopped back into bed every chance I got. We packed up the car and headed out at about noon. Stopped at Chipotle for lunch. I parked in a 15 minute zone, we got in line and Ryan commented on a Park Ranger seated at one of the tables. He asked if they were police officers. I said, I'm not sure, but they've got to be a division of the police anyway, my cousin used to be one. I look over and who is sitting across from the Park Ranger? The one and only, former-Park Ranger, current police officer cousin Adam. What are the chances? So we ate and then stopped by to talk a minute. It had been 17 minutes when I said, I'm probably getting a parking ticket as we speak so we should get going - he said, nah, there's no way their timing would be that good. He obviously doesn't know my luck as not only did I have a parking ticket, also a ticket for expired tabs as the rental car's registration was only good through January. Excellent. We were on the road by 1pm and happily in Dubuque at 5:15. Kevin took us to a work party where there was free beer and belt buckles the size of Texas. We went to a few bars and tried to figure out why nobody goes out on Fridays. There are at least 6,000 college students within 20 miles and no other pseudo-cities anywhere nearby and yet there were 14 people in each bar. Actually the Coliseum started to fill up at about 1:30. Strange, but I suppose you do have to consider the fact that we're talking about Iowa. Tara picked us up from the bar and was nice enough to bring us through the drive-thru for some much needed McDonalds breakfast. Naturally there were Cari-isms. It might have been the alcohol.

    We went to IHOP and bowling on Saturday afternoon. Had a sub-par experience at a new italian place Giunta's but at least the company was good, stopped home to take in the rest of the Slam Dunk competition and headed out to see Kevin's old boss's band play. We stopped at the Broken Lift again and back to the Coliseum where Tara and I somehow ended up dancing in a cage. It was not my idea. Bacardi made me do it. It also made me quite sick. Actually, maybe the dancing made me sick. We slept until 1pm. Ordered Pizza Hut and headed out. We stopped at Champps and were in bed by 10pm.

    I think I'm still sleeping.

    What a great time. Kevin's doing really well for himself but would like to get out of Dubuque. The Quad Cities might be in his near future. He should get whatever he wants. He's nice. And he's from the BP. Duh.

    2 more weeks of this semester; 6 more weeks of bowling. We're postponing the housewarming party again - parking is scarce at the apartment with all the snow and who wants to walk 2-3 blocks in the winter?!? Plus we have this HUGE patio for barbecuing and well, I won't have school and wouldn't have just dropped an insane amount of money on my car (adding $175 for the car rental and $150 for the parking ticket/speeding ticket brings the grand total to $1625 since mid-December).

    Hope you're all doing well! Don't forget to use your turn signals and for cripe's sake, don't speed by State Troopers!

    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    Will You Be My Valentine?

    Jill and I had dinner at Copelands last night. Their food is awesome. Also they have tasty drinks although you might have to take out a 2nd mortgage if you enjoy more than 1!

    I have the best Valentine ever. Ryan sent me flowers at work yesterday. Definitely helped me get through the day since I probably had the worst day at work ever. We're celebrating Valentine's Day tonight since we'll be with Kevin and his girlfriend on Saturday. It was even his idea. He's the nicest guy I know. And also the hottest. He spoils me and I love it!

    We embark on our journey to the awesome nation of the Quad Cities tomorrow morning! I'm really excited to get out of here for a weekend. We might take in a hockey game, go skiing, lounge around and do nothing. Only 2 things are certain. There will be beer and uncontrollable laughter. Because I'll be wearing my blue hat.

    Hope you all have a great weekend - Happy Valentine's Day!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    Has the Jury Reached a Verdict?

    We're meeting with a court liason today to fight a traffic ticket Ryan got a few weeks ago... for not using his turn signal... in downtown Minneapolis. The state budget cuts have rendered the police force incapable of responding to burglary or non-injury automobile accidents and yet they have plenty of time to hand out ludicrous citations. I suppose it's nearly free revenue. I mean, 1 moving violation fine is enough to cover at least 2 weeks worth of the doughnut expenses.

    Wish us luck.

    I think the Law & Order coloring book compliments today's theme nicely.
    I'm not the only die hard fan!

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004

    Running Circles, into Curbs; Happy Hours, Bowling Alleys; Ice Palaces, Skating Rinks; Superbowl and Golden Tee

    I love the Target Center Northwest Athletic Club. People are very professional, which means it's less of a meat market and the track is big and roomy so you don't feel like you're running around in circles. I added some weight training to the usual running or swimming. Mostly swimming however since the arch of my foot is still not 100%. My friend Craig says I may have to stay off of it completely for a few months for it to completely heal. I figure I'd better start that now so I can be ready to hit the Stone Arch trails this spring!

    Other than getting back into a normal workout regimen, I've tried to normalize my schedule a bit. It's possible I may have succeeded if I hadn't gotten into an accident on the 22nd. Ended up taking the 23rd off since they didn't tow my car until lunchtime and I didn't get my rental car until 3pm. It worked out OK since I got my workout in and cleaned up in time to meet Jill and Jill at the Drink for happy hour. They have a really good buffet and cheap drinks until 7. We headed over to the Refuge at about 8:30 for power hour and enjoyed cranberry belvederes for $2. Ryan met us at about 9 before heading to Brother's to hang out with his friends. Felix came up and the 4 of us maniacs spent some time on the dance floor before heading over to Brothers at about midnight or so. Sadly, Ryan's friends were glued to their seats, but the rest of us cut it up on the dance floor. If you can really call it that. Jill and I went home and ordered pizza and laughed about how early we left the bar. Ryan came over about an hour later and helped us eat the 2 pizzas we ordered.

    After bowling on the 24th, we celebrated Tim's birthday at the Park Tavern. It was a great time. There was pool, golden tee, a million appetizers, beer, swisher sweets and birthday cake. What more could you possibly want?

    We decided not to run the Winter Carnival 5K on Saturday since it was cold enough to freeze lava. We did check out the ice palace however which proved to be much more impressive from far away. But the company was great and Danielle made awesome chili. It's important to note that his uncle got separated from the group while at the palace and about 20 minutes later all of us realized at about the same time that we were cold and miserable. We decided to head home in hopes he would be shortly behind us. About an hour and a half later he finally made it home. So this is to be known as the year that we lost Paul. Ryan's Dad commended us on a good game of ditch. The poor guy. Later that night, we went skating at the Depot. What fun! I want my own skates. (Does this really surprise anyone?) Let's add another hobby to the many I already have. Honestly, will it ever stop? I skated on hockey skates for the first time ever. I love it. And I only fell down twice.

    The Superbowl was on Sunday? As far as football is concerned, I'm a die-hard fan. Or so I thought. We got up early Sunday and headed to Tony's new house in Rosemount. Ryan's been invited to move in so he wanted to check out the space. It's a great house and isn't as far out as we were thinking. It's basically Apple Valley. Afterwards we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and had some blazing wings and a sandwich. I almost forgot to mention the yard of coors light. We went to the gas station and were going to head to his parents to watch the Reno Open but realized it was only 1. Decided to go to Old Chicago for some beer tour beers and a little Golden Tee. This would be the beginning of my downfall. By 3pm I was pretty much at the point of, well, not going to anybody's parents' house. Embarrassing. Unintentional but embarrassing none-the-less. We played 2 more rounds of Golden Tee and can you believe it - I finished -6 and +2 respectively. This is incredible as I'm usually +24 or so. We went to Byerly's, picked up some tenderloin and new potatoes, stopped at Dairy Queen and headed back to my place for the game which was nearly half way over at this point. I started cooking and the food got done during the 4th quarter. I sat down pretty much as New England kicked the winning field goal. A superbowl is finally not a blowout and I miss nearly the entire thing! Sadly, I also missed Janet Jackson's publicity stunt flashing. And the streaker! Not that any of it matters in the least since the tenderloin was good enough to make us cry! In fact we're having the leftovers tonight. I can hardly wait. Plus, we're going to play in the snow afterwards!

    Other than that, it's been the usual. Trying to keep sane between work, school and everything in between, eating out way too much, consuming too much beer and playing way too hard. Ah yes, the ridiculously-busy self-involved over-consuming life I lead. I'm not sure I know what normal is anymore, but if you're feeling ignored, please know it's unintentional. I'm done trying to convince myself that things will slow down soon. I know better. Maybe after bowling season. Take care everyone - drive careful, stay warm. I strongly encourage you to have a snowball fight and make snow angels afterwards.

    See ya!

    Thursday, January 15, 2004

    Because It Was The Right Thing To Say

    We watched most of The Lord of the Rings II last night. Ryan went to get some water during one of the battle scenes. Swords flying everywhere, let me tell you - heroes were being made! Suddenly the focus is on a man on a horse fighting with a small sword. He's really kicking some ass. I roll my eyes as he's slaying man after man armed with huge swords and weapons. I yell out to Ryan, "This guy comes to battle with nothing but this small stick..." There was more but for some reason I couldn't finish. I'm becoming famous for my interesting choices in words.

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    Lunch Warrior Falls Ill

    Turns out Ryan's O2 sensor was also on the fritz. The part for his car was only $200. Don't get me wrong, this is still outrageous, but it's a far cry from $350!! Ryan took me out for lunch at Damon's after I dropped his car off at his work. I ordered quesadillas which were fabulous - crunchilicious cheesy wonderful. But one of them didn't have anything in it! So when the waiter came back, he saw the naked tortilla. He apologized and offered to pay for my meal on top of making another quesadilla for me. Nothing like a free lunch when someone else was buying anyway! :)

    We went out with Khoun, Nate, Lucky, etc. Thursday night and I made dinner for Ryan on Friday. Arroz con Pollo - turned out pretty good considering the fact that the rice refused to get done. When Ryan got there at 8, we decided to go to the liquor store since the rice had another 15 minutes or so. Got back about 25 minutes later and of course the rice by this time is a bit overcooked. It didn't matter though - it tasted good and even better in tortillas the next day! We headed up to Players at the MOA to meet up with Karl and Mindy. Then to Plum's in St. Paul. They're a lot of fun.

    I woke up pretty sick on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing that a little thera-flu wouldn't fix! I swear that stuff is magic. We took all 7 points at Doyle's on Saturday and had fun playing Catch Phrase at Emily's birthday party. We laid around all day Sunday watching football and taking cold medicine induced naps. (Well I took naps anyway). I started making lasagna at about 4:30 and we ate at about 8. We watched the rest of What Lies Beneath and fell asleep again until 10. Lasagna leftovers rock!

    And now it's Monday.

    It's not fair!

    Hope you had a great weekend and have a fun week! Stay warm.

    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    Stupid Prelude

    I'm having the best luck with my car ever.

    My check engine light came on again last week. It did in July also and I found out my O2 sensor was giving out a slow signal. Not something that needed to be fixed at the moment - if anything I'd get bad gas mileage. So they cleared the error and I went on my merry way. I pretty much knew this time I'd have to replace it since I've only driven 180 miles and I'm below 1/4 tank. Normal people pay $100 for such a part. My car however, has a $350 O2 sensor!! WHAT?!?! Insanity! I'm so lucky to have a friend in the auto business - I'm sure labor at a dealership or other shop would have been 3 times as much. I just love how I sink $400 into my car before Christmas and another $500 after Christmas. Couldn't be better timing. #$&@! Tomorrow I take Ryan's car in as his check engine light came on the same day mine did. It's not necessary for us to do EVERYTHING together! :) Hopefully his repairs won't be quite so costly. I need someone to support my dining out/beer drinking habits! But seriously, public transportation rules.

    Monday, January 05, 2004

    Happy New Year!

    I hope you all had a great time bringing in the new year! Wow, what a week we had.

    We had dinner at my Dad's on the 30th. Ryan met my aunts/uncles and grandma. Afterwards we went to Old Chicago and Brothers with Berg, Farmer and Flannery. Then we decided to go to Perkins at 3:30am. Because that's what normal people do.

    We met back at my apartment at 6 or so on New Year's eve. My Dad and Nancy came over for some wine and to take in the fireworks display. They came with us to Manny's, had a glass of wine and sat with us for an appetizer since they seated us in a 6 person booth. We had crabcakes, ordered my favorite red wine and enjoyed each other's company. We had a fun waiter and the food was absolutely fantastic. I could definitely handle more new year's like that! We got home at about 1. Fell asleep until 3:30 when Hyser and Sutherlin came home. We talked, laughed, stumbled into each other and finally got to bed at 7am.

    We stayed in bed all day Thursday, getting up only to meet Tim and Danielle at Champps for the Rosebowl. Got back home, took a nap, had leftover Manny's for dinner and went bowling at Elsie's. Watched Temple of Doom and stayed up until 6:30am. This is starting to feel normal.

    We had lunch with Ryan's Mom and his sister at the Mall of America on Friday. We shopped, then got in a workout in the lovely workout facilities at the apartment and headed to Best Buy to get his CD player installed. He loves it! We met Farmer at Applebee's, had dinner and went to Gastof's. I talked Farmer into coming over for another beer and we laughed until we cried. I don't think I stopped talking until 4am. Thank God I don't have a video camera!

    We went out with Jill, Jill and Pam on Saturday. We actually stayed at the Refuge the whole night! I decided to try mixed drinks on for size. Unfortunately, they fit. Ryan and I went to Perkins at about 1:30. We walked in with an older man. He said, "Brr! It's cold out here!" to which I replied, "No! It's drunk out here!". Also, halfway through my meal I set down my fork and made this brilliant observation "There was a lot more food on my plate before I started eating." It's scary. And don't worry, I wasn't driving.

    We had dinner with Shelly and Brent last night to exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. Bowling starts up again tonight and class tomorrow. I'm so excited, can you tell?

    I hope you're having a great start to 2004!

    Tuesday, December 30, 2003

    Belated Christmas

    I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone! I hope yours was filled with friends, family, love and warmth.

    Things couldn't be better. I ended up taking most of last week off - my car has a specialty molding and rear window so it took the glass shop 2 days to fix it. This set me back a bit on shopping but I didn't waste any time. I got 10 hours (10 hours!?? Who does this sort of stuff??) of wrapping done on Tuesday and more shopping on Wednesday. Ryan and I had a great time at each other's family get-togethers. We stayed busy but still had time to really enjoy the company.

    We celebrated Josh and Katie's birthday at the Park Tavern on Friday. Sondra, Heidi, Mandy and Tim were there. Such a fun group!

    Saturday we bowled and went to Steve-O's with Heather and Mike. We shot some pool, hustled a few games :) and laughed loudly. Ryan also kicked my ass at Golden Tee. We stopped at the St. Petersburg on our way home. They make their own Vodka. The bartender is possibly the best bartender this side of the Mississippi. Also the vodka is mighty tasty.

    I hope you all have a safe and happy new year! Cheers to 2004!

    The O.C.

    Kari posted this on her site and I HAD to send it to Hyser since she's nearly convinced she's from the OC herself :) and then I HAD to post it here because - well, why not. Also, it's appropriate to have no posts wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and nothing afterwards until this here OC blurb. I am a terrible person.


    Which O.C. Character Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty

    Monday, December 22, 2003

    Shoot-out

    Dear Trigger Happy Teenage Red Headed Stepchild(ren):

    I can't thank you enough for shooting out my rear windshield with a B-B gun. I've always wanted to know what that would sound like. Speaking of noise, what a cool sound glass makes when it's spidering into billions of pieces by the millisecond.

    I would have appreciated your kind gesture much more if you would have waited until I was in the mall shopping instead of sitting in the driver's seat patiently waiting for a parking spot to open. At least then, you could have shot the window out and stolen something. Having an actual motive for doing such great work would be more satisfying for you and for the recipient. Instead you're doing this for a petty cheap thrill and that's just rude. It's Christmas you asshole(s). And Santa's watching. He may not catch up to you this year, but mark my words, he will. There's going to be a time when the world seems to have turned upside down and squashed you like the little bug that you are. And you're going wonder why. Know this, Karma's a bitch and she doesn't forget a damn thing.

    I'm sure I also speak for the other girl who had her windshield shot out and knocked completely into her backseat when I say, I hope you have a Merry Fucking Christmas.

    Sincerely,

    Cari Berger

    Friday, December 19, 2003

    Accomplishments

    Laundry. Check.
    Christmas letters. Check.
    Happy hour. Check.
    Drinking far too much during said happy hour. Check.
    Following happy hour with more drinking at McSean's with the girls. Check.
    Not being able to stand up again until 2:30pm the next day. Check.
    Somehow getting through final exam without crying. Check.

    I'm even almost finished with that huge C++ program! I thought it was much worse than it was - turns out I was about 40% done already. I should be able to finish it by Sunday without a problem.

    Today, Hyser and I are off to pamper ourselves with Aveda facials and dinner followed by cocktails and laughter. Tomorrow, we're going to watch the game at a bar and Sunday is synonomous with shopping. I only have 2 people left!

    You know how I have some "time off" - i.e. no school or bowling? Well, naturally I've managed to fill the time up. Monday, we're having dinner with Steph, Martos and their baby Jayden. Tuesday I'm going for happy hour with Hyser and the girls followed by making an apple pie (I should make some kind of disclaimer for this pie). And Wednesday begins the real holiday festivities.

    I hope you're in the Christmas spirit! Have a great weekend.

    Monday, December 15, 2003

    10 days until Christmas?

    Ryan printed my Christmas poem for me but I haven't found festive envelopes yet nor have I filled them out. They're quickly turning into New Year's greetings.

    We had a great weekend. Did some Christmas shopping, watched some movies, bowled. Had dinner with Ryan's family - got to meet Patrick (Danielle's boyfriend) who's just a fantastic guy. Played some games. Slept in and watched football over breakfast. Life doesn't get much better than this!

    I have to study for Thursday's final after bowling tonight, do laundry and hopefully complete aforementioned Christmas greetings. Tomorrow I hope to do more shopping, more studying and well, sleep sometime.

    Wednesday there's a happy hour at the Green Mill and then "girls' night" at McSean's. I'm excited to see everyone - it's been so long!

    Thursday I have my final. It's bittersweet really. I have a pretty big project to finish and not enough time to do it, but I'm really excited to have a break from school. I'm actually going to have some free time between the 19th and the 5th of January - that is provided I don't end up booking myself solid again. There are so many people I need to catch up with that it seems inevitable that I'll find a way to be busy anyway. At least it'll be voluntary. And that makes all the difference.

    Friday Jill and I are having afternoon facials followed by dinner, drinks and downtown diva-ing. Some theraputic girl time. We can't wait!

    It's likely we'll be tailgating for the Vikings' Saturday match-up. Think we can contain Priest Holmes? Don't answer that.

    I hope you're all in the holiday spirit! This time of year always fills me with warmth and hope. When smiles are especially contagious. May you catch several today!

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    A List of Things

  • I aced my mid-term!
  • But I'm still having trouble finishing all of the homework.
  • Therefore have agreed to start studying with some fellow classmates. Even the ones who infuriate me with their condescending questions.
  • Ryan helped me get the T-bird to the new apartment garage. Damn thing started right up. It's running like a dream! I really hate to sell it but I'm going to have to. Seriously, if you're interested in a nice old car that's going to be worth some cash sooner than later, let me know. I'm practically giving it away. It's listed at Carsoup.com also!
  • Sunday Ryan and I went to the Vikings game. It was a great game! Seattle never got anything going. I've never seen the Vikings lose. Think I should write Mr. McCombs - he should be paying ME to come to the games! I love that we can walk to the dome in 10 minutes. Throwing the football the entire way!
  • In less than 2 weeks, I have 2 full weeks off... of bowling, school, and basket class. What am I going to do with myself?!?? Probably sleep the entire time.
  • Unlike popular belief, there is no requirement for every bar, restaurant, and store to play Outkast's Hey Ya over and over and over.

  • Tuesday, December 02, 2003

    Fly By

    Had a great Thanksgiving!

    Wednesday, I got out of work a little early. Hyser picked up a pizza and we got to catch up. We may live together but I swear we only see each other once a week! Damn school. Anyway, we had fun and got ready to go at about 8. Jill S. got to the apartment at about 9:30 and we headed out to the Refuge. We met up with Felix and his friends. Stayed for a couple of hours and headed to the Drink. Had one there and went to Champps planning to go to Escape from there. Ryan was at Brothers with his friends and I'd been calling to let him know where we were. When we got to Champps, I was breaking up so he couldn't understand me - all he heard was Champps. I was out in the lobby when we lost the signal and when I walked into the bar, there he was! So we never ended up going to Escape. I decide Jägermeister sounds good and we all left shortly thereafter. Came home, devoured the apple pie I'd made for Thanksgiving (Dad's never going to let me live this one down) and stayed up until 4am. I was a little hungover on Thursday needless to say. Great way to introduce myself to Ryan's family, don't you think?

    We got to Linda and Paul's condo in downtown St. Paul at 1. His parents and Danielle arrived about 2 minutes later. His grandparents and cousin Gina were there as well. Everything was great. The food was tasty, Detroit beat the Packers and we played Taboo which had us laughing until we were nearly crying. We left at about 3:30 for my Mom's. I felt bad we had to leave! We got to Mom's as they were sitting down for dinner. Nothing like 2 major meals within 3 hours! Mom outdid herself! Dinner was great. We relaxed, talked and watched the rest of the football game. We headed to my Dad's at about 8:30. We talked and had some Vienetta. I promised I'd make a pie for them some other time. Major guilt for drunken consumption of said pie. Anyway, we left at about 11:30. Headed home, had a leftover turkey sandwich and went to bed.

    Slept in on Friday. I made another apple pie and we went to his parents' for dinner and dessert. It's a possibility his parents, aunt, uncle, cousin, Ryan and I might run the Winter Carnival 5K. It'd be fun. And I need some motivation to hit the pavement! Afterwards we rented some movies and had a relaxing evening. Hyser and Jill S came home around 2 with Felix and his friends. They ordered pizza and entertained us a bit.

    Saturday = 7 loads of laundry and lots of running. Bowling at Doyle's was fun and afterwards I met Ryan, Tim, Danielle, Josh and Sondra at the Park Tavern. Nothing like leaving a bowling alley for another!

    Hyser, Ryan and I ordered Champps take-out on Sunday, watched the Vikings get smoked by the Rams and laid in bed crying in our beer. Except we weren't crying and we didn't drink any beer. I was supposed to study for my mid-term which happens to be today but I kept staring at that notebook and it just wasn't making any sense.

    Monday night bowling was fun also - we took 2 points from the #1 team and that's no small feat. We were up by over 100 going into the 10th frame of the first game and they ended up winning by 50. Apparently stringing together strikes wins games. Who would have thought!? Hyser and I made chicken lo-mein when we got home and I tried studying again (unsuccessfully). We watched Average Joe - it's not right that they make it seem so juicy in the previews when it's not. But I guess it's entertainment.

    I stayed home today to study. I put a roast in the crock pot at 8 and wrote 4 programs by 11. Tell me how you can stare at a notebook for a full week without being able to squeak out 1 line of code yet 90 minutes the day of the test it flows like freaking water? I hope I've got this stuff down enough to pass this test. Speaking of which, I better get back to studying. Still have 2 pretty lengthy programs to write and should look everything over a few more times before go time. Wish me luck!

    Hope you're having a great week.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2003

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

    Remember, calories don't count on holidays!

    We're going to Ryan's aunt's, then to my Mom's and to my Dad's for dessert.

    I made an apple pie for work today - they didn't mind being the guinea pigs. I'm making another one tonight and one more tomorrow morning. You can just call me Martha.

    Tonight's girl's night! At least for most of the night. We'll probably meet up with Ryan and his buddies later on.

    Take care!

    Friday, November 21, 2003

    All Wrapped Up

    Well I'm starting to tie up those loose ends. I finished the basket for my co-worker Rob's wife, re-organized the storage unit and filled it nearly to the brim, also paid off my credit cards and my Texas line of credit. Now I can close my Texas checking account! I'm so relieved - balancing 3 checkbooks is a complete pain in the you know where. My other line of credit with Wells Fargo is about half-way paid off. Things are looking good. Is it ironic that I finally get my finances in order now that I'm paying more for rent? Either way, it feels really good!

    Tonight, I'm meeting Ryan for a work happy hour. It'll be fun to meet the people he works with. Afterwards we may see Gothika or go home to take a nap depending how tired we are. We didn't get much sleep last night - had a couple of gyro's before heading up to Old Chicago to continue the beer tour. He kicked my ass at darts. We were going to get a pool table but ended up hiding out in a booth talking the rest of the night. I parked in the same spot I parked in the first time we went out. Guess what, I had another parking ticket. Yeah, you'd think I'd learn! Not sure how I'd overlooked the fact that it was THURSDAY and you can't park there 11pm-6am Thurs-Sat. So in my attempt to be cheap, I paid $33 to park vs. $3 in the ramp that was less than 50 feet away.

    Tomorrow, I'm getting up, running at least 8 miles and then unpacking until I'm blue in the face. Tomorrow night, Ryan and I are going to the Wild game. We've got really good seats - I'm really excited! My friend Danielle and Ben will be there too - I'm really looking forward to meeting up with them. I got to have lunch with Danielle today to pick up the tickets. It was great to catch up with her. It's nice to have girl time.

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday, November 18, 2003

    Another List?

    Because I can't think of a better way to do this when I fall this far behind?

    Thursday 11/6: Hyser and I went to Sophia's for happy hour. It's a very nice bar. Someplace to bring a date or a colleague you wanted to impress. I think Frasier would like this place. They have a menu posted at the front door that had a couple of chicken sandwiches that sounded good but the menu we were handed had no sandwiches. Just fancy stuff. I asked the bartender if the sandwiches were just on their lunch menu or? she looked at me like I'd just asked her something indecent and said we don't have sandwiches, we've never had sandwiches. Apparently they use that menu to lure us low-class folks in and then force us to pay $14 for things like Linguini and Portobello Mushrooms. We finished our 2 for 1's and walked down to Pracna for some real food.

    We have a security system at the apartment. It didn't come with a manual and the move-in packet said the security company would charge $50 to teach us how to use it. I think that's ridiculous as the security system was a bit of a selling point for us. We got home from dinner at about 9:30. I decide that I can figure this thing out - no problem. I figure there's a way to set the security code so I start hitting buttons. I hit the star key and arm the bastard. This wouldn't have been a problem but this secures not only the doors, but there are several motion detectors in the apartment as well. So unless Hyser and I stayed put and slept in the entryway, we were going to end up setting the damn thing off. Sure enough 10 minutes later, the alarm sounds. I'm pressing buttons, Hyser's hiding in her room, we trade places. I page the security system people. We're standing half outside with our ears covered when I decide to make 1 last attempt. Somehow by some grace of God I get the thing to turn off. 2 minutes later, the security company calls me back. They have no idea what I did or how to fix the problem - tell me to call them in the morning. We were both afraid to open the door in the morning! Um, 10 minutes of the alarm going off and nobody came. What good is this anyway???

    Friday 11/7: I met Larry for happy hour at Kieran's. It's always good to see him - fun to catch up on things. He's been running lately too - yet another thing we have in common. He is, however, a Raider fan for which I may never forgive him for after the Vikings pathetic performance on Sunday! But seriously, it's amazing to think that we've known each other for over 7 years. Geez the guy knew me when I was 18. He's pretty much seen me at my best and worst. It's good to have friends like that. They can always remind you of the stupid things you've done. Not that that in itself actually helps you avoid doing stupid things in the future - but it's worth a good laugh or 4. Ryan had a few beers with us and then we headed to the video store and to the Happy Garden - the lovely neighborhood Chinese restaurant. Their food rocks. We had a drink at the dive bar next door while we waited for our food.

    Saturday 11/8: Ryan and I had lunch with Steph, her baby Jayden and her Mom. They came by to check out the apartment. Jayden's such a happy baby! We had lunch at Old Chicago. It's always good to relive the old softball days. Old friends are the best - they have all sorts of embarrassing stories to share with the boyfriend. Ryan and I stayed and watched the rest of the U of MN game - they actually won! We started the beer tour which I'll probably finish when I'm 50! We went home to sneak in a nap before meeting Rick and Mindy at Chevy's for dinner before the 3 Days Grace, Default and Nickelback concert. I'm actually not a huge Nickelback fan - Ryan and I were going mainly for the 1st 2 bands but wow, they really impressed me. They're a lot harder than I thought. 3 Days Grace played a good set. Default wasn't bad - their guitar player is amazing but they were a little off as a group. Seriously though, Nickelback was polished and great performers. We went to the Hard Rock afterwards where Mindy made us have shots. Then to Gameworks for some air hockey and bowling. Was a really good time.

    Sunday 11/9: Stayed in bed all day and all night watching football. Pizza Luce delivers. I love them.

    Monday 11/10: Ryan bowled with us. Then Randy, Sherry, Mike, Ryan and I went to the Green Mill for dinner. I had this chicken portobello alfredo penne thing that was unbelievable! Afterwards I went and picked up another load from Heather and Mike's. Finally got the new bedframe moved. Fought with that damn thing until 2am when I finally gave up and assembled the old bedframe. I finally got the bed put together at 3.

    Tuesday 11/11: Ryan came over to help me move some things around and take a look at the infamous bedframe but we decided to walk to The Drink instead. It was packed (Timberwolves game). I'm not sure if we can go back to that bar. It makes us both spill our guts. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 5 beers. Walking to the bar is dangerous. Makes me drink more!

    Wednesday 11/12: Well, all of this running around with the head cut off business has finally caught up with me. I passed out at work and was nearly passing out again for another 30 minutes before the paramedics showed up. I didn't really know what was going on but the next thing I see is the inside of an ambulance. Was kind of embarrassing to have that happen at work. All tests came back normal - I have a strong heart and no blood clots or the like. Doc says I need to start taking it easy and not pushing myself so hard. My Mom, Ryan and I went out for lunch at the Sunshine Factory afterwards. Their food is just insanely delicious. Nothing like Ryan getting to know my Mom in the ER. Well that's hospital visit #1. I suppose it was just a matter of time! It was so nice of them to come to be there for me. He even stayed to take care of me. My Mom gave him explicit instructions to make sure I actually rested. Hmmph. I can't get away with anything anymore!

    Thursday 11/13: I actually stayed home and rested like I was supposed to. I got a few things unpacked but mostly I rested. Wednesday's episode scared me more than I was allowing myself to realize. That feeling of passing out is really awful. I just felt like I had absolutely no control and a few times I thought that if I let myself pass out, I might not wake up. Just pure panic. Not fun.

    Friday 11/14: I took a half day off, did some laundry and Ryan and I met Jill, Jill and John out at the Refuge and then to The Drink. We had a lot of fun! I finally felt close to normal again.

    Saturday 11/15: I finally had time to get that massage that Ryan gave me last month. It was wonderful. I felt so relaxed! It didn't even hurt and I was afraid it would since my muscles are so sore. I could definitely handle that on a weekly basis! Afterwards we split some chicken sandwiches at Old Chicago and continued on our beer tour. They served us big beers. I had 1 to his 3! I tried switching cards on him but he was too quick for me. We went home, took a short nap and headed to bowling. He bowled a few games while we split points with Paul's team. We decided to stay for moonlight. We had fun. I won $2 but couldn't control my ball. We got paired up with a guy who'd just hit on a pull tab so they bought us a round of drinks. Yeah, we really didn't need that round of drinks! Kevin was bowling next to us - it was fun to catch up with him. He's a lot of fun.

    Sunday 11/16: Jill, Jill and I went to Chipotle for lunch and then walked around the neighborhood. There are so many cool stores and shops by our place - it's going to be awesome this summer! We went back home to watch football and then I got ready for dinner. I picked up a Dairy Queen cake (in Vikings colors of course!) on my way to his parents' house. We watched the end of the Vikings game and then headed to the Downtowner in St. Paul. The food was great and we were seated right by the fireplace so that was nice. I have fun with his family. We went back to the house afterwards for cake. We talked some more and then everyone went to bed so Ryan and I watched the late game, Sportcenter and NFL Countdown. I really need to get ESPN. I'm going to go crazy without it!

    Monday 11/17: The Man's birthday. He's a quarter century now - and catching up to me I might add. Especially since I'm going to stay 26 another year. He came by after work. We headed to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for a pre-dinner drink and had the best dinner possibly ever. The steak was amazing and the sweet potato pecan crusted side dish was more like dessert! Asparagus and Hollandaise? I think I died and went to heaven (and if I had a steak in that much butter every day I probably would!). We had a birthday cheesecake dessert and went home to change before going somewhere by the apartment to watch the MNF game. We didn't end up going anywhere. I was so full I couldn't move! We rested until 3rd quarter but by then were so comfortable, decided to stay in. I think he had a nice birthday. I really hope so, he really deserves it.

    Tonight I have class and then am meeting Rachel for a late happy hour. Haven't seen her in a couple of months and she has a CD from our friends in Sweden for me. Hope you're having a great week! Naturally it's going to be another busy week, but still it feels less hectic with work not being quite as busy on top of everything else.

    Thursday, November 06, 2003

    Impressive

  • 10/30: Server moves went off without a hitch! There aren't even any injuries to report.

  • 10/31: Spent some quality time with Josh and Sandra at BWW before heading to Ryan's friend Tony's Halloween/Birthday party. I didn't even recognize him well with the fishnet stockings, DD's and apron. Ryan and I were the only ones who didn't dress up. That's OK though - my excuse is that I just didn't have time to come up with a costume. Well that and the fact that I'm scary enough without one :) We got to Heather and Mike's at about midnight. About 5 minutes before Heather passed out. Was re-acquainted with Jim Beam. Remembered too late why I can't stand him.

  • 11/1: Picked up $90 worth of meat from Foerster's in Plymouth, got groceries and made 2 batches of Special K bars for the Vikings/Packers tailgating party. Bowled. Like crap I might add. Even after Ryan got there and he's usually my good luck charm. Went to Champps with the Sexports. They're always such a great time.

  • 11/2: Picked up the grills, packed the car with said grills, a huge bag of charcoal, the big cooler full of food, 2 cases of beer, bars, food, a big bin of essentials, Jill and Ryan. Laughed the whole way as were completely jammed into car. Parked, started smoking the food, drinking beer and throwing the football. Mandy and Scot drove all the way from Mankato to join us! Sadly, no-one else could make it but somehow we managed to devour 6 racks of ribs and 2 batches of Special K bars. We had some help from Jill's brother and his friends, a friend of Ryan's, and of course some passers-by but I'd say we did most of the damage ourselves. We didn't even get to the chicken or the shrimp! I think Ryan's first tailgating experience was a good one!

  • 11/5: Ryan and I had happy hour with Lyle last night. Lyle's a great guy - he spent 3 years in Taiwan and has some great stories to share. Afterwards we went back to my place to watch Angel and Law & Order. I hate it when he has to go and I just love that.

  • 11/6: Hyser and I do happy hour tonight and then I'm going to do laundry and run. I hope to get 7 miles in but that may be a bit ambitious after a happy happy-hour. Tomorrow I'm doing the happy hour thing with an old buddy of mine, Larry. Haven't seen him in a couple of years - have lots to catch up on! Am really excited to see him. I've always liked talking to him. Hopefully Ryan will join us. After happy hour, we've got a bottle of wine chilling for us and lots of movies to watch. We're going to Nickelback, Default and 3 Days Grace on Saturday with one of his friends from work. Sunday, what else but football?!? And hopefully getting the rest of my stuff out of Heather & Mike's basement. Hope you have a fun weekend planned as well! The place is almost settled into so we're just about ready for visitors!

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2003

    No Memorial Service

    Because I'm not dead.

    Just buried.

    Alive.

    In summary:

  • NC was fun, but 38 hours of driving in 72 is insane. 27 more NFL stadiums to go!

  • Help Desk moves at work went very well. Done ahead of schedule. Still needed a beer.

  • Server moves were post-poned due to power issues. Get to do those this Thursday. Fear for job, even life.

  • Fridays has maybe the best chicken sandwiches ever.

  • Saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tried jumping behind seat. Hit wall.

  • Did haunted hay ride/mansion in Forest Lake. Was proud I didn't scream when the monsters jumped out at us. Jumped a little but didn't scream. Until a branch scraped up against the trailer. I shrieked, jumped off my hay bail and ducked for cover. The haunted mansion is a different story. At one point I caught myself 3 steps into a full-on sprint. Got our money's worth anyway!

  • The apartment move went well considering U-haul didn't have our truck, sent Jill and her Dad clear across town only to discover they didn't have a truck either. Finally, they dug up a 14' truck. All of our stuff didn't fit. We were supposed to have a 17' truck. Really hate U-haul. I'll show them what they can haul.

  • Shelly had surgery yesterday. She's doing fine and I hope she will be home very soon.

  • Tonight, Ryan and I are going to see Fuel and Smile Empty Soul after drinking heavily. I moved our customer service center yesterday and today and it was quite the mess. I hope this is not any indication of how Thursday's server move is going to go. This getting to work at 6am stuff sucks. Mainly because I've had to stay late too. Hopefully I'm out of here in 5 minutes.

  • Start a new semester this week. Done on 12/18. Programming II a.k.a. Becoming a true geek II.

    Hope you're well. Things should slow down for me now. But I've been saying that for months. Sleep for me!

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    NDSU

    I wish I would have gone away to college. I had just an incredible time at NDSU. It was so much fun to see where Ryan went to school and to meet his buddies. He's a popular guy.

    In an effort to be concise, here are the highlights:

  • Crossed the border at 5:45pm
  • Arrived at Turfs at 5:55pm
  • Consumed first beer at 6:00pm
  • Caught up with Jason, Dan, Kevin (BP!), many more
  • Went to Chubs. Proud that refrained from falling off chairs/using the wrong bathroom.
  • Decided to try a Stumplifter. I think it was pure liquor.
  • The U of MN was ahead of Michigan the WHOLE game. Until the end of the 4th quarter when it means the most.
  • Headed to Sports for some black jack
  • Ran into the right cop at the wrong time. You read that right - we were the definition of lucky.
  • Stopped by Mike's, went to college kegger and finally to a hotel at 3am.
  • Met up with Shorty at Kroll's Saturday afternoon.
  • After 1 mountain dew and 2 cups of coffee couldn't sit still. For hours. I'm not kidding, was fidgeting for 6 hours straight.
  • Went to Woody's for a couple of beers. A few good people joined us and we shared stories, laughed uncontrollably and watched Pedro of the Red Sox take down old man Zimmer.
  • Had dinner with Jason at Old Chicago
  • Met up with Nate and his friends at the basement bar (underneath the high quality Fargo strip club).
  • Nate was cut off about 10 minutes after we got there. It was 8pm.
  • I look like Nate's pilates instructor. I'm sure that's a compliment but it was repeated about 75 times.
  • Finished out the night at Chubs with Jason and the gang.
  • I forewent the Stumplifter but couldn't get out of having a Lunchbox. It's about half a beer, a shot of amaretto topped off with orange juice. Doesn't sound good does it? It's really not but it's not as bad as it seems.
  • Got back to the hotel at about 2, got some good sleep and checked out the campus Sunday morning before heading out.

    We stopped at the Fergus Falls Applebee's and the Albany DQ on the way home. Watched the football games at my place, took a much needed nap and ordered pizza. Funny how you can spend the entire weekend with someone yet the closer it gets to the point where you know they have to go, the more you want them to stay.

    I pick up the keys to the apartment tomorrow morning! I can't wait. I'm going to move as much as I can myself until Jill gets there after work. We're going to run around and slide on the hardwood floors. I don't know which one of us is more excited! Ryan's coming over to check it out too. Think we might check out the riverwalk and maybe one of the neighborhood bars. I'm packing the air mattress - I'm so staying the night!

    Well, it's time to head off to class. Hope you had a great weekend and have a super week!

  • Friday, October 10, 2003

    Homecoming

    I got an A on the mid-term although I don't feel any smarter for it. We just started functions and the class quickly went from I'm-such-a-geek-that-this-stuff-just-comes-naturally to what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about. It's OK though, I think I can get through the next 2 weeks. I can't believe we only have 2 weeks left. Very scary! I'm only taking 1 class next semester - this programming stuff is only going to get more complicated and I need to have some sanity time (a.k.a. neighborhood bar exploring time with Hyser). I'm just about to break and well, that wouldn't be pretty.

    I kicked the cold. Still have a little cough and my throat's a little dry but that beats the misery I was in earlier this week! So it looks like I might be able to hang with the boys after all :) Think we might both have to sneak in a little nap when we get in anyway - we both woke up at 6am. He's just geared up to go, I got up early to get in a bike ride to hedge for the pending beer intake.

    I can't wait to get outta here! Have a great weekend!

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    Good Times

    My mid-term only took me 20 minutes to finish which either means I did really well or I completely bombed. The proof will come tomorrow so keep wishing me that luck, would ya?

    After the test, I met Hyser at Scoreboards for dinner. Their food was really good! The Twins won while we planned moving details and discussed which restraurants we're going to eat at first :) All the important things!

    I met Ryan at Stargate where we were coerced into dancing to songs I don't know and with people who are much better dancers than you want to dance next to. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, it was a lot of fun (plus the beer was only $1). I'm just saying, I can't dance! Only about 25 beers make me think I can. There's a huge difference. After making a fool out of myself, we went to visit the T-bird. It started right up. I really don't want to sell it. I just really should. Dang it.

    Our Friday softball game was cancelled so I had dinner with Ryan's family instead. Ryan's Mom made salad, pork chops, twice baked potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin bars. It was really good and they're a lot of fun. Plus twice baked potatoes are perhaps the perfect food. We talked for awhile after dinner and then Ryan and I headed out to Old Chicago. We played some Golden Tee and then went to Players to meet up with his friend Carl. Had a couple at Players and made our way to Friday's where we closed down the bar. We always have fun together.

    Saturday, I spent most of the day making chicken wings for Jason's party. I dropped them off at his house before bowling. We bowled, we lost 5 pts out of 7 but it was still a lot of fun. Afterwards I picked up Jill and we got to Jason's a little before 10. We had a lot of fun. Didn't end up going to sleep until 5am! We woke up at 9, helped Jason clean up a little and headed home. I made my way back over to Ryan's for the football games. We played our last softball game for which he earned his golden glove and had dinner at Champps for the Sunday night game. I don't know how long we can keep up this all-weekend stuff but I have to say, everything so far has been a pleasant surprise. A luxury. That pretty much sums it up. I'm loving it.

    So tonight is bowling, tomorrow school, Wednesday dinner and basket class with Mom who I haven't seen since her birthday, Thursday class and Friday we leave for NDSU homecoming. I'm really looking forward to it but am a little nervous I'm not going to be able to keep up with these guys! As long as I stay away from the German beer I should be OK :) Also I need to get over this cold/cough - any sign of weakness is unacceptable!

    Have a great week!

    Thursday, October 02, 2003

    Free

    Bowling was fun on Monday even though we lost all 7 points! Ryan had to get home to run, but Randy, Sherry and I headed up to the Sunshine Factory afterwards to watch part of the Bears vs. Packers game. Their food is just unbeatable and Randy & Sherry are so much fun. Nice too - they even offered to help me move during the day of Sherry's birthday dinner at Gastof's!

    Tuesday was a great day. I found out in class that psych only meets Tuesdays this month! So I get out of school at 7 on Thursdays, starting today! It's like having another day free. I'm beside myself in elation. Seriously I never thought 2 hours would make such a huge difference. I have my C++ mid-term tonight - wish me luck. I'm going to go to the health club, ride the bike and study during lunch. It's a good thing I can multi-task or I'd never get anything done!

    Yesterday I was in Eden Prairie for a data/voice over IP seminar. I learned a lot! Plus I got in a 90 minute run - a fast one even and 3 loads of laundry! Mike, Heather & I had a beer, breakfast burritos and finally got a chance to hang out.

    After class I'm actually truly free since I don't have laundry or other chores to do so I might rent some movies to try to catch up from a year of basically seeing none. Or maybe I'll try talking Hyser into some type of corruption. Think that latter sounds more interesting. I mean, if I finish the backlog of movies, what will I do at 3am over the weekend??

    Monday, September 29, 2003

    Ziggy Socky Ziggy Socky Hoy Hoy Hoy!

    Jill Hyser played softball with us on Friday night. We met at Ruby Tuesday's for a pre-game dinner but they had a long wait so we ended up at IHOP. I didn't order breakfast. Completely out of character I know, but Hyser's chicken tenders were sounding so good. And at a place like IHOP, chicken tenders are pretty fancy.

    Ryan got to the field at about 9. He even brought me a sweatshirt since I forgot that it's no longer July. Then I couldn't bring myself to wear it until after the game because it was too clean and nice. The fact that it came down to my knees might have had a little bit to do with it, too. Anyway, Hyser, Ryan & I went to Chevy's after the game for a few margaritas. Never made it to the movie but Hyser told us good jokes and we laughed.

    I went for a run Saturday morning, worked on my psych final and caught up with Kris who I hadn't talked to in months! Ryan got to the house at about 7 and Jason arrived close to 8. Good thing he got there when he did or Ryan & I might have ended up sleeping through the festivities. Why is it that all day I tried taking a nap unsuccessfully, then, an hour before kick-off, I finally get tired? We got to Gastof's only minutes before Hyser and Amy. We enjoyed the German beer (which seriously tastes like chocolate to me, the dangerous kind) and I won $100! After the tent party, we went to Gabby's. Heather met us out and more alcohol was consumed. I fell off a chair. Really must stop drinking so much - I kept up with Ryan. In fact I think I had a captain coke so that means I passed him. Not good. Really good impression on Jason - first time I meet him, I tell him I can out-fish him, next time I'm a drunken mess falling off of chairs. He's having a party on Saturday that Hyser, Ryan & I are going to. I offered to bring food. Now I'm going to have to bring the good stuff to make up for the mess I made on Saturday. Bad Berger. Ryan is way too good to me. He handled me very well considering that I went to the bathroom in the men's room and fell off of a chair. Also he survived breakfast at Perkins with Heather and I. And that's no small feat :) But seriously, I need to stop forgetting that I don't have the alcohol tolerance necessary to keep up with the guys. Also, keeping up with the guys is eventually going to reduce their tolerance for me.

    Sunday, we ordered pizza and watched the Vikings spank the 49ers, now known as the 48ers. Owens was embarassing. I also kicked some fantasy football ass - 104 points. Manning threw 6 TD's and Moss at 3! I was the top scorer and that's worth $20 in my league! So even after the bar/pizza/movie, etc., I'm up $10 for the weekend. Not too bad considering. I mean, it's expensive falling off chairs! We lost our softball game but it was fun in spite of the turf field.

    Ryan & I finally went to see Underworld after the game. It was good! They really could have done a lot more with that story line, but it was what I expected. Pretty dark, but some pretty good action sequences. What more do you want from a vampire/warewolf movie?!

    Tonight we bowl and I have to finish my school work. I have mid-terms this week - wish me luck. I have 2 softball games left - Friday and Sunday. So that means that I have some free weekends coming up right? Yeah, in November.

    Have a great week!

    Friday, September 26, 2003

    Octoberfest

    I love Octoberfest.

    Not only does it encourage beer consumption, but bars have Warsteiner Dunkel on hand. It's like chocolate!

    We had fun at Old Chicago - we tried 4 of their Octoberfest brews by which I was reminded that dark beer is stronger than lite beer.

    I have an 8:30 softball game tonight - it's going to be so cold! After freezing my ass off, Ryan & I might see Underworld or something. Tomorrow I have to do homework and then a group of us is going to Gastof's for their Octoberfest Tent party. More Warsteiner Dunkel - can't wait! Sunday, the Vikes will be 4-0 and hopefully Hoosier Daddy will rack up their 2nd win. Monday, Ryan, Randy, Sherry & I are going to bowl like pros and take all 7 points. Either that, or drink and laugh a lot. I'll try not to get my ball stuck on my hand again.

    Have a fun weekend! Stay out of trouble. If you absolutely can't help yourself, just don't get caught.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2003

    I'm Dreaming...

    of a day off
    Just like the ones I used to know

    I mean, it's good to accomplish things, but I have to say it makes me just the slightest bit crabby to think of all the things I've done since Friday.

    Mom and I had the most incredible dinner at Copelands - it was awesome. She had the crab stuffed shrimp and I had the shrimp and fish creole. They brought her a birthday sundae and I had a piece of Louisiana style cheesecake. Wow. Then we watched the Twins beat Detroit! It was a fun evening.

    Ryan met me downtown after the game. We headed to the Refuge and had a few beers with Hyser and the other Jill. We finished the evening at Rosen's. So much for making it an early night to rest up for Saturday!

    Saturday morning, I woke up early and headed out to the Cedar Lake Trail. Got a good run in and went back home to make the pickle wraps. 2 1/2 hours later I finally finished them and started getting ready. I picked up Ryan and headed over to Tom & Vickie's. It turns out that Rich knows Shawn, the host of the pig roast. He was even there the night before helping him bury it! We stayed for a couple of hours and headed over to Shawn's. There were Toga's, a fridge tap, and lots of pig! It was awesome. We were so sad to have to leave - that party was going to be off the hook. We went to Ryan's to change, I met his family and we left for Wilmar. We got there at about 10:30. Tim & Josh were excited to see us and we had a great time. They're just such a great group of people. I feel really lucky to have met them. Also, I might add that we need to find more weddings/dress-up events to go to - I don't think I've ever seen anyone look that good. I must be in heaven.

    We listened to the Vikes beat the Lions on the way home. He played softball with us - in the cold rain! Then we headed to volleyball. We were pretty beat afterwards but I don't think either one of us wanted him to go home. So I bought a TV and we watched the rest of the football game before calling it a night.

    Bowling Monday... we won 1 game. I was up until 3am doing laundry (bad idea on a school night!). I was falling asleep in my classes yesterday but I still managed to internalize enough to finish my C++ homework in class and we got out of Psych early so that was a bonus. Tonight, Ryan's meeting me at Old Chicago for a work happy hour and then we might go see Underworld. Bentley's is always a possibility.

    Have a great night!

    Thursday, September 18, 2003

    Just Smashing

    In a vain attempt to preserve the little sanity I have left, I decided not to go to basket class last night. I went for a short run and then to Ridgedale for my Mom's birthday present and to pick up a pair of shoes. Ryan came over at 8. We watched the Twins beat the White Sox over a beer with Mike and then headed to the Sunshine Factory. He noted that it sounded like a fruity name for a bar but was willing to check it out. I'd never really thought about it but he's right! I talked him into trying the Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup since it is the best soup in the world. He didn't think the bar was so fruity after that. He talked me into a Jg Bull shot since it's a really good idea for me to drink heavily on Wednesdays. I also didn't think the bar was so fruity after that. We had so much fun just talking. It's just good. We decided to head to Bentley's for "Girls' Night". Emily, Susie, Wendy, Annie, Dan and John were really happy to see us. We played Golden Tee, some pool and Susie & I danced to some 50. Everybody loves Ryan. I don't think either one of us were planning on tearing it up in such a way last night, but it was so much fun we couldn't resist. I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a mac truck. Apparently Mike did too as he was praying to the porcelain Gods this AM. I'm sure he'll appreciate my mentioning that. Sorry... I couldn't even eat until noon! You know it's bad when this girl can't eat! I feel fine now although I'm almost falling asleep in class. Which is why I'm posting. Because posting while I should be studying is better than sleeping, right?

    Tomorrow, Mom and I are going to Copelands for dinner and then to the Twins game for her birthday. It's been awhile since we've gone out so I'm really looking forward to catching up! I've got to get in some solid sleep so I'm ready for Saturday. It's going to be a busy day. Priority 1 is a long run. And I think I might try sneaking in a nap before Ryan & I head to my softball party. I'm really looking forward to the pig roast - I've always wanted to go to one! I'm a little nervous because his parents are probably going to be there, but I'm sure things will be fine. I've been told the real challenge will be not to pass out at the wedding reception. Apparently it's just about a 1 to 1 keg to person ratio. Should be interesting.

    I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Stay warm!

    Tuesday, September 16, 2003

    Let the Games Begin

    Friday night, Ryan & I met up at Doolittles for dinner. I've had such bad luck with restaurants lately. We ordered nachos to start and put our food order in about 5 minutes later. The nachos didn't come for over a half-hour! They weren't even good but they probably would have been had they come out when they were ready and not 15 minutes later. We were thinking our food was going to come out immediately afterwards but 20 minutes passed and still nothing! We had to ask the server to check on it twice. So it's 7:55 and we're finally eating - my game starts at 8:30. Luckily, the sandwich was pretty good - otherwise there may have been some fists thrown (haha), but seriously, the waiter didn't even apologize or take anything off the bill. Pretty sad.

    I ended up meeting Ryan, Tim & Josh at Old Chicago after my game. We had a great time. We played some Golden Tee - I got my ass kicked but my putts were money! They have the internet there but it's pretty much worthless - they have everything blocked. I mean what good is the internet at the bar if you can't pull up the Miller Light commercial?? The crazy girl who was hitting on Tim is worth mentioning. She comes by and asks where he's from - he says Eagan, she asks if he knows "so and so", he says no, but Josh thinks he might know him. Half kidding, Josh says, "why is that your boyfriend?" She says, "no, he's my ex." She quickly adds, "but I'm so over him." I love that the first thing out of her mouth is about her ex but she's feverishly trying to get with Tim. I'm lauging and she's saying that I'm jealous because girls get jealous you know of other girls talking to their guys. So apparently, they're my guys now. I had no idea I was such a lucky gal! We just about closed the bar down and then Ryan & I watched 8 Mile.

    Saturday afternoon, I met my Mom, and my aunts at the Coon Rapids VFW. My Grandpa was being honored as a charter member as 50 years ago, he and my Grandma were part of the group that started that Post. It was a really nice ceremony - they talked about the war and what these men and women went through and what starting the post has done for the community and its veterans. I'm proud of my Grandpa anyway, but it made me that much prouder. I had a tear in my eye almost all afternoon! They unveiled a monument and had a 21 gun salute followed by taps. It was a great honor. I had to leave before the food was served, but am so glad I was able to witness the ceremony. He's such a great man.

    Ryan got to the house at about 6:30 and we headed to my friend Craig's barbecue in Lino Lakes (the softball party has moved to next weekend). Ryan helped Craig put up the movie screen and we stayed warm by the fire and caught up with a few of my former Norwest colleagues. Afterwards, we headed uptown to meet Tim and his friend Gretchen at Williams. We drove by the new apartment on the way - things are moving right along! I can't wait to move! We played some pool and then headed to Famous Dave's for some music. When they closed, we went to Chino Latinos and had some great fare. Seriously the tacos are excellent. Ryan & I attempted watching The House on Haunted Hill but we both fell asleep. I'm pretty jumpy at scary movies; who am I kidding, I'm very jumpy at scary movies and he kind of figured I was out when I wasn't moving at all. Probably just as well as really shouldn't watch those kinds of movies while living in the basement.

    Sunday is all about football. Well that and taking naps. I went for a long run and then to volleyball. We ate at Be-Bops but the flies eventually drove us out - we watched the Vikings beat the Bears at Main Event in Fridley. So he's survived bowling and a football game with me - he's doing great so far, wouldn't you say?

    It's another full week this week - school tonight, basket class tomorrow, school Thursday, softball Friday. Saturday we're probably going to my softball picnic, then to a pig roast at his neighbor's and finally to Wilmar for Josh's brother's wedding reception. Should be a good time!

    Hope you have a great week!

    Friday, September 12, 2003

    C++ This

    OK I like my classes. I think I'm going to do well in them and I'm learning a lot which is the whole point, right? I just hope I'm strong enough to bite my tongue in my C++ class. There are 3 guys who are so arrogant it's been mighty difficult not to jump in and set them straight. Naturally they all program with a different language and have daily pissing contests to determine which one is superior. Tell me, is it VB? C++? COBOL? COBOL!?!!? It's sickening.

    Tonight, I'm going for a run, then probably meeting Ryan for a pre-game meal and cocktail. He's going out with his buddies so I have a pressure-free softball game tonight! I'm looking forward to spending some time with Mike after the game. It's been forever and a day since we've hung out so it'll be good to catch up over some good old Miller Light! Tomorrow Ryan & I are going to my softball party, then to my friend Craig's barbecue. Unfortunately, one is in Apple Valley - the other in Lino Lakes. Yeah, I know, lucky us! You already know what I'll be doing on Sunday! Hopefully I will win my fantasy football game - the guy I'm playing has been talking a lot of crap this week. Ahman Green is going down! After some good old fashioned football game watching, I'll be playing volleyball with Ryan's team on Sunday night and then we'll probably stick around for the Vikings game. I'm so wearing my purple Kangaroo tennies!

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    Monday, September 08, 2003

    Stop, Drop and Roll

    Friday's game went well - we won. I was busy in left-center although wasn't required to make any diving catches this week :) I need to get to the batting cages this week - for some reason I'm not coming all the way around on the ball and am shanking it. Ryan and I had a few beers with Jesse and Rich before heading up to Applebee's for a perfect margarita. It was his first. I told him he hasn't lived until he has one and thankfully he likes them as much as I do so wasn't disappointed. We had another drink at Buffalo Wild Wings before picking up some movies from his place and heading to mine. Heather had a few beers with us and we watched The Ring. The visuals were definitely freaky but I was more scared during Jeepers Creepers - isn't that odd? It might have been because of all the raving I'd heard about The Ring while I wasn't expecting anything out of JC2. I'd probably set myself up for disappointment thinking it'd leave me with a week full of sleepless nights. Anyway, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It was entertaining and the company was just unbeatable.

    The T-bird showing was positive - he really likes the car. I should hear from him this weekend one way or another. The battery was dead, but after I jumped it, it popped right off. It's running like a dream! I hate to get rid of it! If it doesn't sell though, I'm going to start driving it around this weekend. Hopefully the exposure will drum up some interest.

    Saturday Nite Live bowling started on, you guessed it, Saturday night. Mike had to work as did his brother so Heather's brother Dustin and Ryan filled in. The league is so much fun - it was great to catch up with everyone after a busy summer! Dustin's usually quiet, but he was talkative and funny. Ryan fit right in - even bowled well! Couldn't have asked for a better night! After bowling, we finished our beers in the bar. Heather & Dustin had to get going, but Ryan & I had a couple more with Duane and Terry. Oh the stories of Vegas. They had us laughing so hard we were almost crying! This might have been the first real test - he survived the bowling league and he's coming back for more!

    I went to Jill's to watch the Vikings kick some Packer ass. We always have so much fun - we were both screaming at the top of our lungs! I love that the Vikings scored the first touchdown and the first field goal in the new Lambeau Field. Was quite the game! The Hoosier Daddy softball team even put one in the W column! The Vikes, the Twins, Hoosier Daddy? I mean really - Hoosier Daddy!!

    The work bowling league starts tonight. Heather can't make it so I'm bringing in the ringer... Ryan's bowling for us tonight. Hopefully he won't mind bowling for the Bee Otches. Maybe he won't notice... Wish us luck!

    And then it's Monday Night Football - are you ready? I should mention that I am the 2nd highest scorer in my fantasy football league this week. And yet I LOST. Priest Holmes single handedly kicked my ass.

    Wednesday, September 03, 2003

    Time Machine

    Instead of the usual whining about how insanely busy I've been, I'm going to delve right into it since I have over a week to cover. For the record though, I think if I don't find time to breathe sometime soon, I may spontaneously combust.

    Friday, August 22nd

    Since Ryan lives so close to where I play softball, he came to see us play. Hmm, I struck out the week before so brought a case of beer - maybe he came for the beer and not for the game! Despite major concern that I would embarrass myself by falling down, breaking something and/or striking out again, I played well - even had a couple of diving catches! We hung around for a couple of beers and then headed to Old Chicago for a couple more before crashing his buddy's bonfire in Minnetonka. Rum from the Dominican Republic is unbelievably tasty. And potent. Not necessarily in that order.

    Saturday, August 23rd

    Bright & early, picked up Jill and headed to Southdale for Mandy's bridesmaid dress shopping adventure. I say adventure because we had our first beer at 10:30am. Afterwards, Jill & I went to Ridgedale and bought purple and gold Puma tennis shoes for the Vikings games. They have little pockets, plus they were on sale! Also, I'm sure they'll help with the parking lot football playing. We had a low-key night at Fletchers. I know that seems impossible for us, but we did it. It's so nice to have a girls' night wherein you don't have to deal with misdirected guys or too much intoxication.

    Sunday, August 24th

    I went and saw Chad & Wendy's new house in Oakdale - it's a great place! After softball, I headed to BeBops for volleyball. After our games, we played for another hour or so until everyone was half in the bag. It's hard when everyone's trashed and you're not. Ryan & I opted out for a couple friendly games of darts and some coors light.

    Note to self: very late Sunday nights lead to falling asleep at Monday's physical therapy session, sports page in hand.

    Tuesday, August 26th

    Saw the first movie in the theater since James Bond! Ryan & I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean. It was great! Johnny Depp was excellent! It's nice to have someone to see movies with. Especially when he's hot.

    Thursday, August 28th

    Hyser & I took the afternoon off to go to the fair. I love the fair. We walked around just about non-stop enjoying things like chocolate malts, a cream puff, roasted corn and of course cheese curds. Also it wouldn't be the state fair if I didn't have a pronto pup. We left at about 6 and had dinner at Joe Senser's. Is it weird to go out to dinner after the state fair? Psssh, whatever - senser fries are unbeatable!

    Friday, August 29th

    Another afternoon off with Hyser. We went to Stone Arch first to sign our lease and then to 13 Moons for lunch. I think it'd be a better dinner place, but there was a cute guy in a visor that Jill was making eyes at! We went back to her place and sipped a few cold ones and read up on "sure fire ways to have him asking for more" in her girlie magazines. Pam stopped over and we headed out. We intended on going to Fletcher's and keeping the summer of 2003 tradition alive but there were only 5 cars in the parking lot. We decided to go to Baysides instead and managed to have a good time even with all of the pushing on the dance floor. An old guy paid for our drinks. In exchange I agreed to do a shot of tequila with him. It was about 6 ounces of tequila, I'm not kidding. There was something about cherries, and bartenders trying to shake their bon bons. It's just not clear in what order.

    Saturday, August 30th

    I woke up bright and early and headed to Rachel's. We piled into the Jimmy and headed to fabulous Tomah, WI to meet Julian and his wife Annelie. They were in Chicago on vacation from Sweden and were kind enough to meet us half way to see us! We had lunch, caught up on old times and went bowling. They're such an adorable couple - I'm so glad to see them happy. He is and always has been a great friend. He was a consultant at Green Tree in 96. We were inseparable for 2 summers filled with concerts, underage drinking and good times.

    I went for a run and then met Jill and Amy at a bonfire in Minnetonka. There was a lot of drinking and a neighbor girl from hell. Think small-town WT. Think starved for attention pathelogical liar. Made for some interesting conversation but in the end we had to go to avoid any knock down drag out situations.

    Sunday, August 31st

    Jill & I were bums until noon and then headed to Osseo for Thai food but they were closed. We checked out Golden Dragon but they were closed too! 90 minutes later we landed at Chi Chi's where my fork jumped out of my hand and onto my white shirt. Naturally it was full of red sauce. Quite the adventure. We burned CD's at Jill's parents and gave her brother a hard time. Or was it him giving us a hard time? It's hard to say. Ryan called from the Denver airport and we made plans to get together when he got back in town. I got home around 6:15 or so, got ready and headed to Blaine for Stacy and Brian's BBQ. I hadn't seen Susie in ages and it's always fun to party with her! Ryan got there at about quarter to 9. There was poker playing, girls singing and dancing, crazy convenience store shopping and mad picture taking. We won't mention the Jäg Bulls or the walk-over/front flip attempts on wet grass. We will mention that Ryan managed to win $25 and should get a bravery medal for driving the 40 minutes to a strange house full of strangers while silently suffering through jet-lag. What a guy. Did I mention that he's hot?

    Monday, September 1st

    Laid around and was completely unproductive although I did do a load of laundry and eat. Both important things. I met Ryan at 6:30 for a couple of beers before seeing Jeepers Creepers 2. It was what could be expected - entertaining but pretty bad acting and a ridiculous plot. Makes no difference really though because I'm such a sucker - I get scared at all the times when you're supposed to. At one of the down points I realized that I still had the death grip on his hand and was probably about to draw blood. How sad that I'm 26 and am actually buying into this beast who comes out every 23rd spring to eat for 23 days. At least it's worth a few laughs, right? Anyway, I thought this might satisfy the craving for something scary but I think it just intensified it. I think we're going to have to see Cabin Fever next week!

    Tuesday, September 2nd

    Here ends Berger's freedom. I started school yesterday! It wasn't too bad - I think I made good choices in classes. C++ shouldn't be too bad and my psych class is small and everyone seems really nice. Also, she said she likes to get out early so that's a huge plus. Instead of 10, it should be 9:15-9:30. Rock on.

    Today I'm taking Lyle out for happy hour as he was recently "work-force reduced" (tell me why don't they just say laid off anymore?). Then I'm going to work on the T-bird. Have to get it running for Saturday! I have someone looking at it at noon. I really hope he buys it. Tomorrow is another school day and Friday I have an early softball game and possibly a softball party afterwards. Sometime I'll sleep. But just in case I don't, how about taking a nap in my honor?

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    Citti Girls!

    Well, it's official! Jill & I will be downtown ladies in October!

    We're going to lease from Stone Arch Aparments - a new development on Riverplace in downtown Minneapolis.

    We fell in love with the place as soon as we stepped foot inside. They're gorgeous. 10 foot ceilings, 7 foot windows, hardwood floors, oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances and they're brand spanking new. The patio was the real selling point though. It's about 100 sq feet! Plus you can grill out there! I can even have a garden next summer.

    We'll be right across from the Stone Arch bridge (under which was voted the best kissing spot in Minneapolis) and the Stone Arch trails. They're also building a park right across the street that should be done next spring I think.

    Someday, I'll buy a house. For now, I'm going to have the time of my life being a downtown girl again. Just in time for football season and Pizza Luce delivery - life doesn't get much better than that!!

    Thursday, August 14, 2003

    Week In Review

    Friday, August 8th

    Warm Reception

    Danielle and Ben's wedding celebration was wonderful. Their ballroom at Rush Creek had a gorgeous view of the golf course over which the sun set in brilliant shades of pinks and purples. We enjoyed champagne and hors d'oeuvres while they played a photo slide-show set to music and a video of the exchange of their vows in Las Vegas on February 8th of this year. The omnipresent strength of the adoration between those two warms your heart and brings tears to your eyes. I wish them a lifetime of happiness as their love grows stronger every day.

    Brian (Tuesday night volleyball league) and I went to the Sunshine Factory before the reception with light appetizers on the mind. We ordered a beer, chicken strips and nachos talked about the younger years. 40 minutes pass. The 4 tables that were seated 20 minutes after us already had their meals. Finally our waitress comes back around and I asked if she knew where our appetizers were. She checked with the kitchen and then informed us that they made the wrong type of nachos so they were now rushing the order. We had to get going or else risk being late to the reception so we cancelled the order. When she came back a minute later with the bill, I said, "We have a tab?" To this she coarsely said, thank you and walked away. No apology, no manager, no tip. We shouldn't have even paid the bill. I mailed them a strongly worded letter on Monday.

    Saturday, August 9th

    More Wedding Bliss

    Wendy and her bridesmaids met at David's Bridal at Har Mar at noon. We all fell in love with the dress she picked out! It flattered all of us and even the yellow worked with my gold undertones! Wendy tried on her wedding gown for us - it's breathtaking on her. Seriously - it's just HER! It's gorgeous! It helps that SHE'S gorgeous, but well, the combination is fabulous. Emily & I split a calzone at Old Chicago afterwards. They brought it out on 2 plates and instead of being one large calzone cut in half, it's like we each got our own small one! Quite tasty.

    Afterwards, I headed out to Danielle's for her after-wedding-barbecue. Her Mom really out did herself! There was fruit, salsa, salads, burgers, cheddarwursts, every beer imaginable - delightfully sinful! We played volleyball and adored the little ones ranging from 3 weeks to 6 years. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect afternoon!

    Baysides Blunders?

    Jill and I went to Sunsets for dinner. Was fantastic. We went back to her place for a few cocktails and then out to Baysides. The same people go there seemingly every day and sit in the same places. By this I mean that the Betsy guys were there as well as the really cute guy we've seen there 3 times now. We've only been there 3 times. It's too bad he's obnoxious because he is really easy on the eyes. In true Baysides form, there were a few notable happenings:

  • It's important to note that I've run into Ryan several times at these bars even though I'd really rather not and that he's wearing a visor 99% of the time. Jill was teasing me about my visor-loving-traits since about 33% of the guys were sporting them. Of course after she pointed this out to me, every single guy in the bar looked exactly like Ryan. Talk about paranoia. Sheesh.
  • Miller light was having a contest wherein you pulled a label from a very tired-of-this-gig girl in a bikini. I pulled one and won? a visor. Not a t-shirt. Not a hat. Not a beer. A visor. Jill didn't win anything but nobody's a loser as she got a good hearty laugh out of the sight of me and my miller light visor.
  • We're approached by a 5'6-something red-head. He opens conversation by asking, "So, how much do you girls need to make tonight?" I said, "What?!" He explains that they're on this boat and are looking for some girls-gone-wild type stuff and how they can pay our car payment and our house payment. We're laughing at him while letting him go on with his spiel, but finally I interrupted him saying we didn't need any money, thanks anyway. He says, so you already have a pool? I said, yeah, at which house!? I'm laughing pretty hard now and he's getting angry. I look at the guys behind us and say, do you hear this guy?!? They say, yeah, he's with us! More hysterics follow and now the red-head is really getting mad. Jill pulls me away as I'm seriously paralyzed with laughter. The sad thing is that this probably has worked in the past and likely will again. Unreal.
  • Enter Guy. Not just any guy, a guy named Guy. He's cute in that dude-from-Scream kind of way. The typical frat-boy. We end up hanging out with his group. They're a lot of fun at first. They notice that Jill resembles Sarah Jessica Parker right away. Everything is great until that guy, Guy, tells Jill that she hides behind that Sarah Jessica thing and that she likes it. She doesn't. I got mad they were dissing my girl and we left. We returned to her house, ate our Sunsets left-overs and I went home.

    Sunday, August 10th

    Breakfast with Becky

    After about an hour of sleep, I met Becky at IHOP for breakfast. She's due next month. She's the most adorable pregnant gal on the planet! I really miss her. I wish she didn't live 5 hours away! They moved into their new place now and are really excited about it. It's a 2 level with a loft and plenty of room for baby and them. Thank God for old friends. I just love her.

    Bowling Badly

    The On-track Pro Shop Invitational (bowling tournament) started at 10am in Eden Prairie. You bowl 2 games at 5 venues and take the total of the best 4 of 5 + handicap for a chance at $2,000. I arrived full of IHOP pancakes and just a tad hung-over. I should add that I had my ball re-drilled on Friday as my thumb shrunk. 2nd game - 8th frame: I bowl, the ball fails to come off my hand. I fall. I somehow managed to save my left knee from being pummeled by 14 lb. ball. Some people are finished bowling and I've drawn quite the crowd. My ball was stuck so badly I had to put it in the ball return and literally rip my fingers out of it. When they say "be one with the ball," I don't think that's what they meant. I wasn't able to recover from that. Both games were under my average, but I still had a chance if I did well at New Hope at 2. I can blame to guy who was hitting on me relentlessly the entire time. I answered his advances with, "It's Sunday morning!" Anyway? I didn't do any better at New Hope.

    I was so full from IHOP and so tired from my all-nighter that I couldn't even finish my first plate at the Great Mandarin! As we were leaving, the waiter said to me, "You don't eat much do you?" I explained I didn't feel well and usually can finish 2 plates and expressed my true and utter sadness that I wasn't even able to go back up for that fried sugar roll that I love so dearly. Oh the travesty!

    Volley Follies

    I went to Be-bops at 6 to play volleyball with the Buffalo Wild Wings team. Imagine my surprise when I opened my trunk to retrieve my volleyball and found a mysterious bottle of scotch. Apparently, I ended up with that guy, Guy's bottle of scotch. Nice that I've gone the route of thievery and that I didn't recall so much until I saw the bottle. <kicking self in head> We lost all 3 unfortunately, but it was fun anyway. I'm finding it's pretty impossible not to have fun playing volleyball. Jill and Jill S. came up to see us play since we usually stay after and play for a few hours. Wouldn't you know it's the first night since June that nobody wanted to stay to play! Jill, Jill, Ryan and I had fun anyway sharing stories. Well, I didn't actually manage to get any telling stories out of him, but he's coming to the Saints game on Saturday so I'll have my chance then! The scotch tale made it out on the table and we decided it has become my first trophy and from now on will have to buy a hutch to store them in so that later I can reflect on all of the boys who managed to piss me off. So if you make me mad, you might want to lock up the whiskey.

    Monday, August 11th

    Running Route

    Accomplishment: Longest run I've ever completed straight through. I took the Cedar Lake Trail from its starting point (Northwest Athletic Club on Highway 100 and 394) all the way to the Target Center and back. According to my map it was about 4 miles to the city so I was thinking 8 miles would take me about an hour and 10 minutes. It had to be more like 10 miles because it took me almost 90 minutes and I'm positive I was running at the very least a 9 minute-mile pace. Anyway, I love the trail but it's definitely a day-run. The sun started to set and I started to get nervous.

    Tuesday, August 12th

    Bad Tire

    I've been having to put air in my rear-passenger tire for about a month. Not to be outdone, my front tires went bald. But the prospect of 4 new tires is out of my financial bounds at the moment. You can probably guess what's coming? Jill and I had a 4:45 appointment at One Ten Grant to view an apartment. I was planning on getting to her work at 4:15. I'm cruising along 35W when I start to smell something. Remembering my tire, I turned my radio off and assessed the smoothness of the ride. All seemed well even swerving slightly to test the water. There was a semi next to me so I decided it must be him. I resumed singing along to my radio. About 1/2 mile later there's this white van right on my tail and he flashes his brights on me. I stand corrected, the smell must be my tire. I immediately pull off on the next exit and off to the side. I pull my e-brake, look up and there goes the meat of my tire bouncing and rolling its merry way up the off ramp. I called Jill and let her know I'd be late and asked her to call the apartment and let them know. I went into NASCAR mode and unpacked the 50 zillion pieces of sports equipment from my trunk and prepared the spare. I got the tire changed in a record 16 minutes! I got to Jill's work at 4:30 and arrived at One Ten Grant not a second late. The apartment was very nice - small rooms and closets but a breathtaking view of Loring Park. Also a 100 square foot balcony from which you can grill. The pool area is fantastic as well because they install a dome over it during the winter for year-long enjoyment. Afterwards we had Thai food at The King and I which is right downstairs. We plotted all the times we'd end up getting take-out and how dangerous that would be! She stayed for volleyball and then to Rosen's for some we-won-all-three cocktails. We stopped at the Hopkins Dairy Queen on the way to the park-n-ride. Mud Pie Blizzards are quite possibly the perfect food!

    I got 4 new tires yesterday. I'm also $672 poorer. That hurts! It likely means I won't be able to go to Vegas for Debby's wedding in September. #&$*@! The only good news is that I thought I had engine issues - hesitation, etc. Turns out it was just the bald tires. Why don't they make rogaine for wheels??

    Th-th-that's All Folks!

    So that's really the excitement for the past week although you might agree that it's really plenty. I hope things slow down soon but I doubt it since softball's just starting and school starts in less than 3 weeks. Tomorrow's my first softball game in Apple Valley and Saturday morning is the Gopher vs. Badger 5K - wish me luck! Mom is staying in Hudson with me and we're having lunch after the race. I can't wait! For the lunch, not the race :) Saturday night Mandy, Scot, Jill, Ryan and I plus possibly JJ are going to the Saints game - will be mad fun. Sunday is Hoosier Daddy's first game! We haven't practiced so it might be interesting but fun none-the-less.

    Hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for those of you who've been checking the site lately and sorry for my lack of updating. I'll try to do better for several reasons: A) I don't want you to get bored of seeing the same post and decide never to come back; B) It's really hard to remember what happened yesterday much less 6 days ago; and C) According to Microsoft Word I've just typed the 2,199th word. That's ridiculous.

  • Friday, August 08, 2003

    What Happened to Wednesday and Thursday??

    Holy crap I've been busy. And I'm always busy so it's more like manic.

    I let Sam know over the weekend that it was her choice for lunch on Tuesday. Heather tried to call me to warn me about Sam's decision, but I hadn't heard my phone ring en route to the house... When I got there, she explained that Jeremy & Mitchell suggested Red Lobster. Sam thought that sounded good, but wasn't sure if that was in our price range. So she came up with Old Country Buffet. I don't have anything against buffets - in fact I'm excited to be in a bowling tournament on Sunday in Eden Prairie not because of the chance at the $2,000, but because that means lunch at the Great Mandarin buffet afterwards. The problem with OCB, is that well, it's not chinese food. It's also not seafood. And so in the end, I (we) decided it was worth the extra cash for crab legs. We were not disappointed!

    I think I may have to have a shellfish lunch every Tuesday as the volleyball courts treated me quite well. Afterwards, we had wings and beer at Rosen's as promised. There were 4 of us drinking and we managed to drain 5 pitchers. Also, it was my fault as for some reason beer was going down like water. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the ball playing or Scott's joke telling talents. Nor our Magic Stick duet. Seriously that guy is a riot. Ben administered his famous, possibly recently retired, sobriety test. It consists of a swift smack to the forehead to gauge the person's reaction time and coordination. I passed the test, but due to the minor whiplash I'd acquired while diving for a ball, it hurt my neck bad enough to cause tears to well up. I got ice and felt better about 20 minutes later. Looking back on it, it's a good thing he did said test as surely it had sobered me up and after consuming a pitcher of beer myself, I probably needed the jolt. Managed to get to work shortly after 9 which is good considering the pitcher of beer and late late night watching Monty Python.

    I went to the Team in Training meeting on Thursday. It's kind of a cool program and would be a great help in training for a marathon, but you have to raise $4700 in order to go to Hawaii for the race. The thing is, if you don't raise that much, you lose out on the whole deal and they get to keep the money. It's for a great cause, but I have too much on my plate as it is without having to fundraise like a mad woman and train for the 26.2 miles in December. Also, I'm not sure if I'm really wanting to be that "good" during the holidays. The most intense training would be happening over Thanksgiving. Plus, I think I'd rather train on my own which would really make the accomplishment mine. I can always do Hawaii next year.

    After the meeting I went to Jill's and had her Mom's spaghetti and margaritas. It was so good! I even got leftovers!!! We made a pre-trip bitch fight... note to self: next time do the mixing after adding the ice - holy crap they were strong. We went to Baysides and enjoyed the perfect weather by the water.

    Notable exchanges:

  • Guy who insisted I was Betsy - who was the reason his friend and his wife wouldn't come out that night. Seemed he was implying something happened between this "Betsy" and his "friend". I'm using quotes because I'm pretty sure neither existed. The guy's friend was looking at him disapprovingly. He introduces himself and I shook his hand saying, "I'm Betsy." The joke was wasted on him as he actually became defensive and put out. It's amazing this guy's single! I'll bet there are Betsy's everywhere in search of a guy with awful pick up lines and no sense of humor.
  • We escape the Betsy guys and find a table. Guy asks if he can sit with us for 1 beer of which he has a full one. There are 6 chairs, 2 of us, we say sure. He explains he is a former carpenter, current set designer of some sort. He's quite consumed with himself, even more than he is with Jill. He still hasn't taken even a sip of his beer. I start to devise a plan to knock over said beer to rescue friend in need.
  • He no later leaves when another guy introduces himself and starts up a conversation. That is if you can call it that. It seemed we spoke another language. He left after a few minutes.
  • Jill and I were consumed in conversation when this 30-something gal sits down and explains that she has a cute friend who would really like to talk to us, would it be OK for him to sit down. It was guy #3. So he sits down and asks us what we're doing there. We explain we came for a cocktail. He counters saying that everybody comes for some reason and inquires again. I explained in no uncertain terms that not everyone is looking for something or has ulterior motives. He tries to say that's not what he meant but he manages to ask the question again. And again. He was such a bonehead he even made Jill want to go and that's pretty rare.

    We escaped, laughed all the way home and expressed our excitement to get our place downtown. We're looking at the first one on Tuesday!

    Tonight is Danielle and Ben's reception at Rush Creek. It's going to be a great time! Tomorrow I see Becky and Amy Rorvick (yay!) and then an afternoon of bridesmaids' dress shopping with Wendy and her girls. Jill & I will be hanging out by the lake again into the wee hours of the morning I'm sure. Sunday begins the bowling tournament - wish me luck! It starts at 10am in Eden Prairie so I talked my Mom into meeting me at the Great Mandarin for the best Chinese Buffet since LeeAnn Chin's Bonaventure. Then it's 2pm at New Hope! Wish me luck! I'm playing volleyball at Be-bops again on Sunday night. This time I will try not to stay out quite so late.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Tuesday, August 05, 2003

    Just Good Clean Fun

    I didn't quite make it to my 10 beer quota on Friday, but it was close. We played darts at Danielle & Ben's and headed to Famous Dave's for some live entertainment and BBQ. On the way back to their place I noticed there are several large signs that depict a person riding a bicycle with a bold red line through it. In gigantic letters it says, "Absolutely No Bike Riding on Sidewalk." We laughed. I figure they put those signs up after the infamous biking adventure :) We watched Super Troopers and I made it half-way through Office Space. I've tried watching that movie about 100 times. It's not that it's not as hilarious as it promises to be, it's just that I keep attempting it at 3am.

    I had to leave bright & early to pick up Jill and head out to Fergus Falls. It was fun to spend time with Brad & Becky. Adam and his girlfriend were there - it's a good thing he's a good sport because he makes himself an easy target :) The weather was kind of crappy - cloudy and breezy but the food was excellent! Also we stopped at Chipotle in St. Cloud our our return trip. Everything's better laced with their hot sauce! We had a blast singing along with the radio and just being girls. I played volleyball until all hours of the night on Sunday and met Steph & Martos for Steph's birthday dinner yesterday. Jayden is getting so big! He's got the most beautiful eyes and he's such a good baby. They got a minivan - it's a Honda - it's beautiful too. Yep, they're a full-on family now!

    Today, I'm taking Samantha out for lunch for her birthday and tonight is volleyball downtown! I'm looking forward to celebrating our W's at Rosen's with beer and chicken wings. Seriously, they beat out Champps wings.

    On the work front, I resolved the server issues and have managed to avoid public humiliation for rebooting the customer servers on Friday.

    Life is good.

    Friday, August 01, 2003

    %#$&*@!!

    I've been so incredibly busy today. Multi-tasking has gotten the best of me.

    I was finishing a memo while dialing in to check my voicemails. When the voicemail picked up, I said, "Hello?"

    I have been charged with applying hotfixes to our Windows servers to resolve a security vulnerability announced a couple of weeks ago. I carefully applied said patch to our Terminal Server expecting it to ask me if I wanted to reboot after installation. I was going to say "no" since it's scheduled to reboot tomorrow morning. After installing the patch, a message box popped up that said, "Installation Successful. Click OK to restart the system." There were no other options. I tried clicking the "X" on the pop-up but the darn thing rebooted. Repercussions were minimal, however, as you can imagine this wasn't my idea of a good time.

    At about 8:45 I was asked if I could configure one of our customer's server groups to gracefully shut-down in case of power failure. They're cutting power to an adjacent building and there's speculation that it might inadvertently affect us. I'm in charge of the scripting/programs in which to do this so I said no problem. I was thinking there might be 4-5 servers. There are 24. The most important are the UNIX servers as the NT boxes generally come back up without a problem. Cold crashed UNIX boxes are more likely to come up with hardware/config issues. So I started at it. It took me about 90 minutes to work through the scripting and then it was time to test. I was to invoke the powerdown script, verify it was working and then invoke the powerreturn script which would cancel the shutdown process. The powerdown script worked beautifully. Unfortunately, the powerreturn script calls for PKILL to cancel the shutdown. PKILL is a feature of Solaris 7 - they're on Solaris 2.6. Yeah, I rebooted the production server without warning.

    I've managed to reboot 2 production servers by mistake today.

    I'm going to require 5X that number of beers tonight.

    Good thing I'm going out with Danielle, Ben and Brian! Calhoun may never be the same.

    Have an excellent weekend. Mine will be fantastic if not just because it will be a thousand times better than today! Tomorrow AM Jill and I are heading up to Brad & Becky's cabin for some jet-skiing/skiing/pontooning/floating/sunning action. We're becoming cabin junkies!

    Monday, July 28, 2003

    Cabin Fever

    Spent the weekend at Jill's cabin in Nickerson (about 40 minutes south of Duluth). Her brother and his friend Seth were there. We satisfied every food craving possible to man and proved once again that I will always be the 'asshole' when playing P & A. Ah yes, fabulous drinking games. Playing just made me feel old! And drunk. But mostly old.

    On the way home, Jill & I stopped at Damon's for dinner. The food was just amazing and we got all geared up for the upcoming football season. We're going to be tailgating at every opportunity and at Damon's every other opportunity. Well, at least every other week. This could get expensive.

    Physical therapy is going pretty well. The range of motion is getting better and I'm not as restricted to the brace which is nice. Even though it's so incredibly attractive. I'm surprised someone hasn't tried to steal it yet. But don't think I'm letting my guard down - I have a sharp eye and cat-like reflexes.

    I'm meeting the volleyball team tonight. Should be fun. Will try not to injure myself. Also anyone else. Will bring beer just in case. It's the cure-all.

    Thursday, July 24, 2003

    $699 Round-trip to Asia + free flights between 17 cities

    Holy CRAP, I want to GO!
    $699 for up to 21 days? Plus free travel between such cities as: Bali, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo??!? Unbelievable.

    As Margaret Berry says, "SARS be damned, I'd be on a plane right now if I didn't have some cake tastings and dress fittings to tend." Except that I don't have cake tastings and only 1 dress fitting to attend. Only lack of funds, volleyball, softball and well, really it's just the lack of funds. Boo.

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    We Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday

    Jill & I took Brian out to Billy's and then to the Wild Onion on Friday. We even got him to show us his fabulous white-boy dance. We returned to Brian's, consumed 1 bowl of Pops cereal and a Papa John's pizza slice. Why does pizza have to taste so excellent at 1am?

    Saturday morning, I went for a 5 mile run and then to my Grandma's for her birthday. We talked for over a half hour and then I made it back home for Samantha's 9th birthday party (it's her actual birthday today!). She and 7 of her friends had a bowling party at New Hope Bowl. A pizza lunch and Woullet birthday cake with bowling pin/ball candles were included. After the party, Heather and I headed to my friend Randy's for his annual birthday kegger. We attempted playing horseshoes, lost 21-2 and took solace in the chips and salsa. Turns out Heather's former Perkins GM plays softball with Randy, so they spent some time catching up. Emily & Luke joined us for awhile as did Jill. We went back to my place and watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I only made it to the poker-game-love-fern scene, but Jill was a trooper until the end.

    I went to my Grandpa's in Elk River on Sunday for his and my aunt Sandy's birthday celebration. My family rules. They even bought low-fat snacks and veggies and dip for me. Not sure if low-fat really matters when you consume that many Pringles, but pssh, matters. Sunday night, I met Jill and Pam at Chili's for dinner and then Blondies for a cold 2-for-1 and live music. We missed the live music and the 2nd beer got warm, but the conversation was good!

    5 birthdays in 2 days, not bad!

    Tonight, I have to go for a run. I'm going to try to fit in 3.5 miles. I can't push too hard or I'll pay for it on Wednesday. I can't believe the 5K is coming up in 2 days - I'm pretty anxious about it. Especially since I never made it out to the lakes for a real practice run. I have no idea how fast I should be running these miles. Plus I don't have a sports watch or stop watch. I might have to hit Target tonight, I really need to be able to pace myself.

    Friday, July 18, 2003

    And It Was Fabolous

    As you may know, I'm on IR. But I was going to support the team from the sidelines last night and have dinner with Jill at Acapulco afterwards. I went for a jog after work and when I returned to my car, I found that Susie had called. They had an extra ticket to the Rock the Mic (Star Party) concert! I talked to Jill and she understood - I just couldn't turn down a free ticket! So I boogied home, cleaned up and made my way downtown to meet them at Champps. I got to know the group over a beer and it seems I may produce the photo slide show/movie for Stacy and Brian's wedding. Would be really great experience for me and cheap for them. Brice arrived and we made our way to the Target Center.

    We missed Fabolous and Sean Paul, but Snoop had just started when we found our section. Had a blast singing along to Gin and Juice. I'd never seen this kind of stuff live - was really impressed. 50-cent came on next. I had no idea how freaking beautiful he is! Wow. And he put on quite the show. We stayed for most of Jay-Z and made our way to a new club on Block E (I think it was called Escape). KG was there. It's a posh club; be ready to experience the playa's and pretenders. Also it was a $15 cover and I think weekends may be $20. Good people watching though!

    I left at midnight, grabbed McDonalds on the way home and was in bed by 1am although you'd never know it. I'm so tired!

    Jill & I are having dinner at the Sunshine Factory tonight and then either to Minneapolis for the Block Party or St. Paul, or the burbs, or... Just not Minnetonka, well maybe :) haha

    Have a great weekend! The weather is supposed to be beautiful. Tomorrow is my Grandma's birthday as well as Samantha's birthday celebration. They're going bowling! Sunday is my Grandpa and aunt Sandy's birthday barbecue and then I have a volleyball get-together. Summer session starts on the 29th - we're playing downtown. Can't wait! Just hope the wrist holds up.

    Monday, July 14, 2003

    Party Animal

    Well life has just turned into one big party. Can you have too much fun? I suppose so as it's true that nothing is free. I'm paying in the form of a hurt wrist and morning headaches 2 days in a row. Thankfully they never last long. So here's the usual catch-up routine in case you're interested in reading about the general mayhem I've caused in the past 5 days.

    Thursday marked the last regular season softball game. I was a little excited for the finale. Well maybe more like ecstatic. It was a 9pm game so we all met at Acapulco for some pre-game refreshments. It was us girls and one of the vendors, Theresa. Not only was she a riot, but she also picked up the tab. Was really quite sweet of her. I felt terrible as I ordered dinner (nobody else did) and she refused to accept my money. Turns out she went to college with Christy Love of Boogie Wonderland for which my friend Lonnie plays lead guitar. They rock.

    Jill and I had dinner at Maynard's on Friday and then headed to Fletcher's and onto Bayside's. Bayside's is the place to be people. Really - off the hook. Ran into Ryan & Dave. Surprised Dave's still here from the UK, but could gladly listen to him talk all night long. We went back to Jill's, finished off the Maynard's leftovers and crashed at about 2:30. I headed home, went for my run (shaved 8 minutes off of my time!) and then to Mom's for Chrissy's graduation party. She's just adorable. Also the food was ridiculously fantastic. Mom & I went to Brookdale where she forced me to buy a $28 tank top and 2 pair of pants at the Gap. We also stopped at Old Navy. I was astonished to find that their pants were $10 more than the Gap pants I bought! It's insanity. Afterwards I took Mom on her maiden voyage to Chipotle (I know you're shocked). I got home just in time to freshen up and get to Susie's. We picked up her friend and went up to the Bird. Was mad fun. I've heard mixed things about the Bird but the crowd was great and the drinks were cheap. Even did a little foam dancing. Am so glad have camera phone. Definitely worthwhile. Did I mention that the DJ was hot?

    Spent the night on Susie's floor, headed home and laid out in the sun for awhile, then headed over to Kathy & Tim's for their annual Whiz Bang Days picnic. Also spent an hour at the carnival with Heather, Mike and the girls. Got hit on by carnies. One even let Mike win a huge pink monkey. Not sure why he insisted on pink, but I guess sometimes it's best just not to ask :) But seriously, he did try to talk the girls into Clifford the Red Dog, but he lost. Onward to Irondale for my Great-aunt Grace's 89th birthday party. Saw extended family that I haven't seen in ages. Was so good to catch up. Really must spend more time with John and Joe. They're simply great company. And then there was Be-Bops. We won our first volleyball match, but lost our second to Buffalo Wild Wings. Heidi, Bill, Jake and I headed into the Venue for some celebratory cocktails and scooby snacks. I ended up closing the night out by hanging out with "the enemy" (i.e. Buffalo Wild Wings). They're a fun group. Alana & I exchanged numbers. I now have 2 single girlfriends!

    And so, I survived another weekend. Without hurting myself even! Forgot to mention, saw the Hearing Officer regarding the traffic ticket on Friday. As long as I don't have another violation within 1 year, I'm in the clear. Shouldn't be an issue, but please wish me luck anyway.

    Hope you have a great week! Stay out of trouble - if you don't, there won't be enough left over for me to get into!

    Monday, July 07, 2003

    Hazing Holiday

    If I didn't know any better, I might believe I've just been through a hazing. Yikes.

    Wednesday at the Waterfront

    I picked Jill up after work and headed straight for Chipotle in St. Paul. We arrived at 4:07pm. They close at 4pm. What?! Disgusted, we called Mike for another suggestion since he works in the area. He pointed us to Cosseta's. We had penne with pesto which was good albeit swimming in olive oil and guaranteed to clog at least 3 arteries. We began walking towards Harriet Island keeping our eyes peeled for the "trolleys" promised by the Taste of MN website. We finally saw one when we arrived in the midway. We headed over to the Drive 105 stage for Tim Mahoney. It was hot. The kind of hot that makes you wish clothing were optional. He played some of his old songs mixed in with the new. I don't know any of his new stuff and it seemed neither did most of the crowd. It would have been much more enjoyable if our feet weren't throbbing and our skin not melting. We walked around the food stands and decided to treat ourselves to ice cream, Martha's cookies and a pickle wrap. We caught some of the Wallflowers and then gave into our agonizing feet and headed back to the car. We met up with Emily, Wendy, Susie and Dan at Bentley's at 10. Wendy and Chad are engaged!! Her ring is absolutely beautiful, but it has nothing on the glow and that million dollar smile she had when she told us the news. Chad joined us eventually as did some of the usual crew. At about midnight, I brought Jill to her park-n-ride and went back to Dan's for a few more. He has a new kitten so we had fun antagonizing him. I think I hit the couch at 3am.

    Thirsty Thursday

    You know it's bad when you know you had to get up early on Thursday but can't for the life of you remember why. I just know I meant to get up at 7, ended up "sleeping in" until 8:30 and headed home. The morning is a little blurry but I know I went for a run because it was extremely hot - to the point where halfway through my run I thought I was going to be sick. Met Jill for lunch at Chipotle (I will NOT be denied). Even writing about it makes me want it now! OK enough already, ate way too much and headed home, then to pick up the water-skis. Afterwards, went to Jill's for some sunbathing action. Cleaned up and headed to Ridgedale at 6. Jill called en route and happened to be heading the same direction. We met up at Marshall Fields. Did some damage and ate at the Big Bowl (v. excellent). The Mai Thai made us want more so we went to Fletcher's. We were taking it easy since we had a big weekend ahead of us. We didn't end up taking it easy after all. Word to the wise: Never, and I mean ever, start a tab at Fletcher's. So we ran into Ryan's group. Talked to John and Dave from the UK awhile and then they headed to the Narrows. Shortly thereafter we ran into the group we met on Memorial Day which happened to be my first Fletcher's experience. We closed the bar down and since they live 3 doors down from Jill, joined them for an after-bar refreshment. Luke's brother was hitting on me pretty hard core and wouldn't let up even to talk about football. The routine was getting tiring so I decided to go home which translated into going to dumbass's. Only thing I can say is it's gotten out of hand. I had fun, but I'm not myself when I'm around them so I've done a gut check. No time for the drama. I'm realizing that if you look hard enough, you see what you want to see and that can work for you as much as against you given the situation.

    Freaky Friday

    Slept through alarm. Was supposed to be helping Chad move. Called and left messages but didn't know where they were so instead went home and ran the cobwebs off. Headed up to Grandpa's, ate way too much again and played Taboo with Shari and Mom. Watched fantastic fireworks display thinking it was the real deal only to find out it was a private party's work. They must have spent 10 K I'm serious. Think grand finale for 35 minutes straight. When the festival's fireworks began we were torn between which set to watch! I headed home at about 11. Heather & Mike's party was well underway. In fact, Mike crashed about 5 minutes after I got there. Heather lasted another hour and I stayed up until about 4:30am with Shannon, Dana and his girlfriend. Dana is a wildman riot. Seriously, need a good laugh? Invite him over. I have pictures to prove it.

    Sipping Saturday

    Got to Jill's at 10:15, headed to Mandy's lakehome in Darwin, MN. Ate lunch, went on a boat ride, floated in the water, played some volleyball, pontoon ride/cooler dancing. Mad fun. Lots of food, beer and laughter. Is there any more to life? I think not. Us kids went to the VFW for some dancing, drinking and country boy spoiling. Mandy bruised her knees doing her signature dancing move (really it's not as bad as it might sound) and I did 2 flips on the dance floor. Why? Why? Why? Scott was such a great sport. Not only was he a non-complaining-sober-cab, he was out there dancing and carousing with the rest of us. What a guy! When we arrived home, Jill and I stayed up until 3 talking to Mandy's Mom. They're just a hoot - what a wonderful family. Have had just excellent company this holiday.

    Sober Sunday

    Crap, I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be sober! But seriously, Jill & I left at about noon and headed to her parents to burn some CDs. Afterwards we had dinner at the Claddagh and actually made it an early night! I got home and did laundry, went for a run and much needed sit-ups/weight lifting.

    And here we are at Maddening Monday. Have a 3pm doc appointment to check out the wrist. Pain is pretty bad now and several people have suggested it might be a stress fracture. Please pray for me as I cannot afford to have a stress fracture. Don't they realize I have 2 softball games this week and a volleyball tournament on Sunday? Sheesh!

    Hope you all had a great 4th - hope someone got some sleep for me!!!

    Wednesday, July 02, 2003

    Party Like You Were Born on the 4th Of July

    Wow. It's already Wednesday! Jill & I are going to the taste of MN tonight - it's a beautiful day! We're going to abstain from the Everclear like last time :) (Although I do have some J䧠in the trunk) Tim Mahoney, here we come!

    Also I think we might eat dinner at Chipotle... my mouth waters at the thought!

    I have tomorrow and Friday off (yay!). Likely play golf tomorrow morning and maybe the river, maybe Minnetonka, maybe... Friday morning I'm helping my friend Chad move into his new house (congrats!) and Friday afternoon I'm off to my Grandpa's in Elk River and maybe to Shelly's cabin afterwards for some skiing! Saturday, Jill & I are heading to Mandy's for some volleyball and liquor consumption. Will be mad fun. If all goes well, I may not be back until Monday.

    So until then, I hope you all have an extraordinarily fun but safe 4th of July!

    Monday, June 30, 2003

    Hindsight

    Hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes it'd be nice if it weren't.

  • Was to meet Danielle & Ben at 6:30-7pm. Couldn't reach them, was in Maple Grove so crashed Dad's dinner party. Fun group of people.
  • Attempted to cleanse system by dousing internal organs with pineapple infused blue raspberry vodka.
  • Went uptown to meet Danielle & Ben at about 10pm.
  • Hung our hats at Williams Pub. Danielle forced us to do shots. Several.
  • Used to hang out at Williams when I was 21. The crowd is still 21. We are not.
  • Went back to D&B's. Ben said something about riding bikes around Lk Calhoun. In our underwear. Thankfully their bikes were too big for me. Unfortunately this means I attempted. Think Fear Factor meets the 3 Stooges.
  • Met friends at Sheiks. Had shirt on inside out after botched biking attempt. Positive this gave the wrong impression. Didn't care at the time. Do now.
  • Went to Becky's baby shower. Was really fantastic to see her - she's absolutely adorable. Also reunited with Jill and Sara - old friends are the best friends!
  • Drove to Mound armed with my liquor cabinet. Arrived with a lot of catching up to do. Caught up in good time.
  • Danced around and sang Baby Got Back. Started at Maynard's. You'll be shocked, but decided to move onto Fletcher's.
  • Got stuck behind slow moving vehicle on way to Fletcher's. Guilty of tailgating. Car moved to right, I thought it was moving over so I could pass. I passed on the left. Apparently a cop was directly behind me. Was pulled over. Certain occupants of turtle like vehicle were making their best told-you-so faces as they crawled past us. Cop was less than nice. Got ticket. Will be fighting said ticket. Wish me luck please.
  • Eventually made it to Fletcher's. Eventually bar closed. Eventually ended up at Jill's house.
  • Ate rest of pizza and cookie dough. Tasted so good, think will actually make a cookie dough pizza sometime.
  • Woke up, went to breakfast, laid out in sun, played volleyball for 3 1/2 hours. Cannot stay out of dirt. Made serious attempt to refrain from diving but gave up after realizing attempts to abstain might actually be making the situation worse.
  • Sang karaoke. I'm extremely sorry to the Venue's patrons. Also, Happy Birthday Jake!
  • Went to work, rebooted server, fought with backups. Only good thing is have this afternoon off. Will jog, lay out in sun, and maybe sleep until can head to Minnetonka for some skiing and football action. Someday will actually take a weekend easy. Maybe in 2004.

  • Friday, June 27, 2003

    Uptown Girl

    Am meeting my friend Danielle and her hubby Ben tonight for dinner and drinks. Am excited as haven't seen her since she was an unmarried single gal like me! Also has been about forever and a day since I went out on a weekend night in uptown. Berger reunites with the old stomping grounds, this could be dangerous :)

    Saturday is Becky's baby shower - can't wait to see her! And Mandy is coming up from Mankato so will likely spend afternoon drinking margaritas or other refreshing beverages at Jill's. Will try to avoid Fletchers.

    Sunday = waterskiing or golfing or sunbathing, but definitely volleyball. Unfortunately, I have to do a little work on Sunday evening but this enables me to take Monday afternoon off which = more skiing and sunbathing. This I can handle.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    Different Shades of Gray

    Friday Jill & I went to Brit's for "happy" hour but were overcome by rules of where you can and can't sit. Besides being an old-business-men-on-business-trips-trying-to-hook-up-for-the-night kind of hang out, the whole you-can't-sit-there-if-you're-not-going-to-order-a-$20-entree-even-though-the-bar-is-completely-full-and-there-are-25-open-tables attitude was just too much. I do think the crowd changes over at about 9-10pm but we just didn't have the time to waste fending off advances from short guys. Plus, we just wanted to sit outside!

    So we went to the Newsroom. Here we had no problem finding a perfect table on the sidewalk and out of the direct sun. We laughed about our touchy-touchy waiter and enjoyed the cocktails. The bathrooms there are quite interesting. You can see the men as they're washing up. Be careful because they can see you too - don't fluff those boobs too much girls and whatever you do, don't leave without washing your hands - they'll know!

    From there we headed to the Local, had cheese/salsa fries outside and more laughs about somethings and nothings.

    Saturday, we met at Audio King to get her car stereo installed. We went to Ridgedale and to Applebee's for dinner, picked up her car and headed to her house. I think we started drinking casually at 4. We listened to some good old 80's R&B on the patio and got some sun. We went to Fletcher's at about 9 and then to the Narrows to meet up with Ryan et all at about 11:30 or so. We won't talk about the Chambord, the Midori, the Jägermeister or the lethal combination of them all. We also won't mention that Jägermeister is the devil. And maybe we'll just leave out that it makes us Stupid Drunk Girls (SDG). You know you have a great friend when you can let each other be SDG without the aftermath drama. What would I do without ya, Jill? Well, besides drink too much Jäg??

    Yesterday I played softball in Maple Grove. During a tornado watch and torrential downpour. We have white shirts. They had me play 1st base. 1st play, the guy slips and knocks me into the dirt. Not the best way to start. We didn't even finish out the inning although with all of the interruptions, that lasted 25 minutes. I was soaking wet! I met my Mom for dinner at Famous Dave's and we talked for hours which is something we haven't done for far too long.

    I have a night off tonight - can't even explain how excited I am about the prospect. Will work out, then relax and meet the girls + Dan for drinks. Yay!

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    The Wisdom of John Cougar Mellencamp

    "Baby, baby don't misunderstand me". That has to be the theme for the past week. Or maybe "I need a lover that won't drive me crazy". About 1,000 songs come to mind, but seriously.

    To My Peeps:

    This is a weird time for me. I've defined myself for the past 3 years based on someone else. Our dreams, our goals, our life. That's changed. I'm still the same person inside, I still have the same dreams and desires, but the definition of myself has changed slightly. Partly just inherent to the situation, but mostly because I finally saw that it needed to. I'm a giver. I like that about me but so many times I give too much of myself away. I'm working hard to keep things in check - I've got to take care of me first. This doesn't mean being completely selfish, I couldn't live with myself then, but if I don't take care of me, I can't expect anyone else to. I neglected my girlfriends which I have vowed never to do again. It's so easy to say and strangely difficult to do, but I can't let boys get in the way of my girls. They're the ones who will be there when the boy is nowhere to be found. I'm trying to find my center. I feel like I'm all over the place right now - sometimes I think I have everything figured out and then 5 minutes later I'm wondering which way is up. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm going to need some slack until I'm once again comfortable in my skin. I'm sorry I don't make sense sometimes and I'm sorry if I've made bad decisions. But ultimately, they're mine and I'll take responsibility for them. I just hope you'll understand that the basis on which I'm making said decisions is changing right now and I just might not be very consistent a little while longer. I'll get there though - I will. And please don't misunderstand my showing of strength. I'm good at exuding confidence and well-being. But I still need you. I need a hug once in awhile. Most of all I need your approval and support. And apparently help staying away from Jägermeister.

    Love and straight jackets,
    Cari

    PS. Heather & I talked about June 16th's post last night. The tone in which I said "she sort of apologized" didn't come through in black and white. It wasn't sarcastic in the least. I know that things that I write here are subject to interpretation and misrepresentation and I'm usually really careful about that. The only explanation I have is that the past 2 weeks have been extremely difficult for me. There's been a lot of hurt and confusion and subsequent disproportionate emotions. Guess what I'm trying to say is I've been having a hard time keeping things into perspective. I understand her irritation and how what was written could be taken the wrong way, but I also hope she understands that this is what it is - just a blog and if something did bother me enough to be upset about, I would talk to her about it. We were frustrated at the time but it passed - everyone was drinking - shit happens. I honestly didn't think much of it afterwards - I mean it sucked, no doubt about it, but I wasn't losing sleep over it. I only wrote about it because it happened - not to be vindictive or to put anyone down. I love her too much to be mad at her over that. I need her too much to sweat the small stuff. The root of the problem really doesn't have anything to do with any of this but we talked about that, too. It's really hard when your former boyfriend is keeping close contact i.e. came over and hung out with your cousin who is your best friend and happens to live where you live. It's difficult not to feel - for lack of a better word - betrayed. Take that lightly. It's just a stupid emotion and I know it's not intended. It's something I'm learning how to deal with. So things will be better from now on. I just gotta believe!

    I'll write about the weekend later - I think I'll let this sink in first.

    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    Magnificent And Other Superlatives

    What a life. I've experienced "The Lake Effect" first-hand. Oh, it's real! & once it has you in its grip you might as well stop fighting it - resistance is futile. Seriously, it was a perfect day. I never did attempt that slalom but it's just as well. We cruised around for awhile and anchored in calm waters. The intention was to hang for awhile and eventually get around to skiing, but it's easy to lose track of time when the sun is shining and the beer's tasting good. I'm free to do that again anytime. I'd even call in sick to softball, but shhh, don't tell anyone.

    So in the end I didn't need any ace bandages or crutches. Instead I introduced my passenger mirror to the tree in the middle of his driveway. Not to worry, it's minor enough that I can still see out of it. Yeah, I'll be backing into the driveway next time. At least then if I hit the tree, the mirrors are designed to flip that way. I scare myself with rationalizations like that.

    After the mirror and the tree were acquainted, I went out to Fletcher's with Jill Hyser. Dinner was great and we made plans for the weekend. Jill gets her car stereo installed on Saturday! Then she can rock out to Justin Timberlake on the way to work :) Hahaha

    Wednesday, June 18, 2003

    Got Game?

    I met my Dad and his friend Mark for dinner last night. We hit the usual hot spot, the Claddagh in Maple Grove. They have delectable food and fantastic service. Speaking of service, I'm learning that my Dad likes to make friends with the waitresses. My first clue may have been the fact that he knows most of the waitresses at Champps by name although he asks for 3 specifically whenever we go there. So naturally we have a cute waitress named Laurie. He's throwing compliments around, asking if she closes or if she gets cut early, she offers which days of the week she works, we discuss where she lives, her daughter. I was slightly embarrassed. It's possible that's an understatement but Laurie understood. She offered me another table but I explained I had my own car so could escape if truly necessary. We all had a good laugh. When it came time for me to go to softball, I teased Dad - told him he could get back to his game now. How weird is it to witness your parent flirting with someone? <shiver> I shouldn't complain, it was hiliarious.

    We lost our game but I've been hitting well. I was all prepared to say "no" if they asked me to play again next week but I caved. I really do want to play it's just that I'd like an 8th day of the week to rest!

    After the game I picked up Jill and we went to the Minnetonka Mist for a cocktail on the patio. We watched the sunset and the subsequent lightening clouds. It's hard to believe that with all the time we spend together we never run out of things to say. Also, she lets me vent and validates my feelings. Everyone should have a friend like Jill.

    And everyone should take a 1/2 day off today and go water-skiing on Lake Minnetonka. Wish me luck today, I really think I'm going to nail this slalom business. (Thanks Becky for the pep talk!) Either that or else I'll have to impress him with my football throwing skills. Or else just drink. Martinis.

    Monday, June 16, 2003

    A Blessing to Some

    I woke up this morning, got ready in the usual way and headed off to work. I thought everything was fine until I tried to belt out the chorus to Everclear's Santa Monica. "We can live beside the ocean..." but only a misguided squeak escaped my throat. So apparently we can't live beside the ocean.

    Thanks Everclear for letting me know my voice has escaped me once again.

    I've lost my voice 3 times this year already. It's odd for me to lose my voice - good thing too because for a talker like me it's devastating, really.

    *****

    Shelly, Brent & I went to dinner on Friday. It was great to catch up with them - it'd been over a month! Also I had a sandwich. With cheese! Mmm. I'd forgotten how good cheese was! Then we went bowling. When I got home, Heather & Mike were outside. Since I moved in, I think we've hung out twice. I saw them more when I lived in Roseville!!! We started putting away the brews and told each other ghost stories. With the full moon and it being Friday the 13th, we headed inside to watch some scary movies but alas, Mike fell asleep, I almost did and Heather was enthralled with Howard Stern.

    Saturday was Stacy's bachelorette party. There was penis cake, penis silverware, penis straws, and notably, a penis squirt gun. We BBQ'ed and enjoyed the delicacy known as Jell-O shots. We headed downtown and landed at Champps alley. We drank more and then went to Rosens. Jill & I felt kind of out of place but we were having fun talking anyway. We had 1/2 drink left and the group wanted to go outside. We told them we'd finish our drinks and be right out. We did so, brought boys to do some other things for Stacy's checklist and went back in for another drink. The bouncer told us to get plastic cups. Bartender didn't have plastic cups. We ordered anyway and were drinking right by the door. One of the girls from the party walked by us and we said hi. Then about 5 minutes later, I get a phone call. They want to go to Brits. I said, OK hold on we're almost done with our drinks - we'll be right there. Not 2 minutes later, we're outside. They're not. I call them back - they're in a cab on their way to Brits. Nice. We figure screw it - they knew exactly where we were! We went to the Drink. I called Mike to let him know so that when they picked us up they wouldn't worry about us. We hung at the Drink for awhile longer and then decided to go to Brits after all. That would save us a cab ride and we felt bad for getting separated from the group. One of the owners - Freddy - remembers me from the good old days! It was pretty unbelievable - I mean it's been over 5 years! The place was packed and it was back to the way it was before it got pretentious. We found the group and about 4 minutes later all of a sudden, Heather and 3 others are jumping into a cab. We waited around for awhile longer and eventually hailed a cab. $20 later we arrive home. I'm a little ticked & Heather sort of apologizes and then I know I said I wasn't blaming her but I think I voiced my displeasure - I mean you just don't leave people at the bar downtown. Especially not without at least trying to look for them. What really sucks is that I found out yesterday that they changed plans - they'd decided we were taking cabs home before we went out and didn't let us know. I would have driven. Sure I would have had to drink less but I wouldn't have had to spend $20 on a ride home. So maybe going out in groups isn't a good idea after all.

    I took my Dad to Champps for brunch for Father's day. Then went up to Shelly's cabin for some water-skiing practice. It's really hard to get up on 1 ski. I can drop 1 OK but not without some wavering. In the end, I borrowed their set of Jr. skis and Shelly's slalom ski for Wednesday. So yeah, I'll be showing up with 3 skis. Gotta love it. Wish me luck, seems I will need it.

    Friday, June 13, 2003

    Did you know...

    That I was born in the same year that "Smoke on the Water" was released?

    There's Nothing Quite Like

  • Having 1 bathroom between 3 adults, 2 kids and a baby.

  • Having to use said bathroom but Heather was taking a bath.

  • Having to use said bathroom bad enough that I asked if I could intrude.

  • Trying to use said bathroom while she's snickering behind the closed shower curtain at my stage fright.

  • Preferred status at the auto insurance company.

  • Being yelled at by a State Trooper to "Slow Down!" at your exit and just after you had slowed down from 85mph.

  • Escape ticket, thus keeping coveted preferred status at insurance company.

  • Your second cousin who you've seen grow up before your eyes and develop into a beautiful young lady.

  • Her 4-year-old sister who comes running yelling, "Cari's Home Cari's Home!!!" and gives the biggest bear hug a 4-year-old can give every time I come home.

  • Your Godchild's remarkable smile.

  • Cute boys that actually call you before you expect them to and are completely polite and endearing.

  • Waking up and feeling sexy.

  • Friends that you've known forever, that know you like the back of their hand and love you anyway.

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    Falling Away From Me

    I've been pretty conflicted lately about what to post and what not to. I mean, sometimes I don't really know what the point is anyway. Unless it's something humorous or embarrassing, it's likely pretty uninteresting for those of you readers who weren't involved. But at the same time I realize that getting my feelings out there gives me some peace; some deceptive validation that somehow maybe I'm not so out of line or alone.

    And what I found today is that reading through the archives can give me an interesting insight as to how I got to right here right now. What Kelly & I had has completely disintegrated and lately, I've been wondering when it was that I let go of the dreams we had when we were together. When we went our separate ways in April, there were still moments of lucidity. Moments when we'd discuss his plans and what each other wanted. Times when the softness came through the pain I saw in his eyes and I felt a sting in my heart and thought that maybe there was hope for us after all. And then we'd be apart. And I felt unburdened and - fine I'll admit it - excited to be me without the pressure of worrying about how that will affect someone else. It was like learning who I was all over again. And then we'd see each other at volleyball and he'd drink and his bitterness would show through his attitude. He literally would not say a kind word to me or to our friends. Everything was laced with sarcasm and cynicism. Ism's that in moderation can be funny, but you can have too much of a good thing. A few weeks ago we rode to volleyball together and when we got back to his place he asked if I'd stay and chat awhile. I obliged. We talked about work mostly. No matter what I said, he argued with me. I'd agree with him and then he'd disagree with me which by deduction is to disagree with himself. Beyond that his tone was rude and condescending. I blew it off at first. I mean, I know he's not trying to be this way. He's just having a hard time controlling his reactions. But finally I realized that if I stuck around I was only going to end up angry and that wouldn't get either one of us anywhere. I think that was when I accepted that there really isn't any turning back. He is far too hurt to think clearly when he sees me. Our interactions will never be up to his expectations and he'll leave feeling unfulfilled and unloved. And that's not fair to either of us.

    And besides that, I'm comfortable saying that I did all that I could do. I know I tried everything I could to stay together - to keep the spark lit. I laid all of my cards out on the table. I clearly stated what I needed and what I was willing to do and asked for any other/better ideas. I asked him to think about what he needs and what I could do to make things easier for him because I felt that maybe he was feeling unfulfilled which was making him act out in other ways. He made promises that he wasn't able to keep and I was left feeling resentment for keeping mine. This cycle repeated several times over the last 18 months until the last time I was left not feeling resentment but closure. So why do I have to feel responsible for his sorrow now? What about my pain back then? I'm feeling like some of my friends and family aren't behind me. That they don't understand why I broke up with such a nice guy. Kelly is a nice guy - he's a fantastic guy. When he gets his shit together, he's going to make someone extremely happy. But in the end, I realized that just because he's not a bad guy, doesn't mean he's the right guy. Why should I settle? What about me requires me to sacrifice myself? I'm loyal to a fault and that is possible. I'll stay until I absolutely have exhausted every facet of myself in trying to make things work. Sometimes you have to do what is right for you. Sometimes nobody else will.

    Well that turned into a venting session. I have reservations about posting this and I'll give Kelly a fair warning in case he's still checking this site. I really don't want to cause him any more pain. But this is my website and if I'm not who I am on my website, then it's really pretty obsolete.

    So while I might clean it up for my parents and I try not to embarrass my friends here, I guess I've come to realize that no matter what I do, some of this content will hurt Kelly and there's not much I can do about it barring shutting it down completely. So I give you my apology and anyone else who's been in his place. Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not trying to be vicious. But I gotta be me.

    Monday, June 09, 2003

    Blur

    I'm going to have to invest in a luggage tag, fill it out and use it as a bracelet. Either that or stop drinking the Jägermeister. It's a good thing luggage tags are cheap.

    Jill & I were supposed to take it easy on Friday to save ourselves for Saturday evening's festivities. I left work an hour early so I could pick her up in Mound for her birthday dinner. I got there at about 5:15. Jill S. had called shortly before I arrived and said she was on her way. She didn't get there until 6:30 and we were starving! Instead of driving to southdale, we decided to eat at the Macaroni Grill on 394. Dinner was fantastic although it had nothing on desert. Afterwards, we decided to go to Fletcher's. Unfortunately, the weather scared off all but 10 of its patrons so we pretty much had the bar to ourselves. The patio was even closed! Enter 1 cute guy, his friend who made an indecent proposal to Jill S., an obnoxious-loud-talker who wanted to go to Narrows and 2 girls, one of which sounded like she may have just gotten back from getting her nose done. We're trying to contain our amusement but I don't think we were successful. I ended up in a pretty deep conversation with cute guy who just bought a boat of which I threatened to force him to let me ski behind. So much for taking it easy. Unless 6 beers is easy. Well I suppose that depends on who you ask. Nevermind.

    So Saturday morning I went for a jog to rid myself of the wine-then-beer headache. Mike & I split a Schlotzky's and then I was off to the hotel. I blew up balloons, put the Smirnoffs on ice and snuck in a half hour catnap. Jill, Pam and Mandy arrived just as I finished getting ready. We headed to Friday's for dinner. More yummy food and decadent desserts. Seriously, I haven't had sweets in several months. I thought I was going to pass out from sensory overload. Who needs a man when you've got dessert?? Anyhow, it's worth mentioning that I was wearing a white shirt, the other 3 were in black. All 3 of them have curly blonde hair. I have straight black hair. Those 3 - blue drinks, me - pink drink. Yes it was right out of a classic Sesame Street episode. Jill had called before we ordered our food and said she would be on her way. She was going to park right across the street from Friday's so we told her we'd wait for her there. When she still wasn't there after dessert and another cocktail, we called and she was still a ways out. We tried to make the best of the wait but we kept reminding ourselves of the free booze we had 1 block away. She called as she pulled into the parking garage so we went outside to wait for her. We had to call her again and let her know we were waiting for her outside - it seemed like we'd been waiting forever! Finally back in the room, we kicked off the evening by fixing ourselves a Bitch Fight (Peach Schnapps, Triple Sec, cranberry juice and a splash of lime). We decided to kick off the festivities at The District. I think. It's possible that I have the bar name wrong. It's also possible that I have no idea where we started. Crap, was it the Refuge? Or is that where we ended up? And the #1 reason you know you've had too much to drink? You have no idea where you started or ended up. Good God. Anyway, we saw Jessica Lepinsky and we had fun being girls and dancing to all the songs we knew the words to. Also some songs we didn't know the words to but faked it the best we could. Afterwards we went to Champps - this I know for sure. And then to the Refuge. Or maybe not the Refuge. Can someone clarify this for me please? Jill?!? Anyway, the important part here is that it wasn't Brothers. We proceeded to dance wildly and drink heavily. We also laughed some and had way too much fun. Towards the end of the night, Jill S went to get a drink, Jill H and Pam went to the bathroom, Mandy's talking to someone 5 feet away from me and I was dancing on the dancefloor. All of a sudden I look and Mandy's gone - in fact, everybody's gone. I start looking around and this guy knocks me to the ground and really freaks me out. I get away and find the bouncer, Tony, who Jill knows. I'm crying, and tell him I've lost my friends. He sends me to the bar saying they just got a drink. I walked around twice but couldn't find them. I must have covered every square inch of the bar! I called Jill's cell phone about 50 times but duh, it was in the hotel room. Finally I decide to stand outside the bar and wait for them. Here come Mandy and Jill S. We head back to the hotel where we find Jill and Pam. They'd walked around the bar several times too and thought we'd left so they went to the Drink to continue looking for us. There were a few tears. Jill S. left without saying much. Pam passed out while Jill, Mandy and I devoured a bag of chips and shared sad stories. Good friends are just priceless. I love you guys.

    So you'd think that after all of this boozing that I'd have had enough. But no, Mike talked me into having a bloody mary at breakfast. Then Kris encouraged us to tie one on at volleyball. It was a good volleyball outing. We lost 2 out of 3, but we're starting to gel as a team. We stayed after for karaoke. Adam did Baby Got Back. Well even. It was quite a trip.

    I'm so not having any beer tonight at bowling. Well maybe just one.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2003

    Little Dancers

    Sam, Alex & Allison had a fantastic dance recital on Saturday. We arrived at Orchestra Hall at 3:45pm for their run-through. We went to Chipotle for dinner before the show. It's the best. The show was a little over 2 hours long and the girls were so adorable. They had a fun time but were exhausted. Alex fell asleep in the car before we even left our parking spot. Little angels.

    We won half our volleyball games on Sunday. Which is good considering we played 6. Also, Jake went for a ball that I'd called and nailed my forearm with his. I have a nice welt and colorful bruise. So, 2 weeks ago, hit on left ankle with softball; Friday, sprain right ankle, Sunday, bruise left forearm. I'm going to have to apply to be the bionic woman if I'm not careful. Eh, careful is for sissies.

    Jill & I went to Saint Sabrina's last night. I got the jewelry changed in my ear and a couple more done. I'm going to have to break down and do something in my left ear, or else I could just use the imbalance as an excuse for the next time I fall down the stairs. I felt hardly any pain except when he changed the rook - and now I know why. It was pierced with 18 guage and he put a 16 through it. That's the only one that hurts today even. And they call themselves professionals. Sheesh.

    Friday, May 30, 2003

    Weekend Festivities

    Birthday party in Forest Lake or Downtown with Jill and the girls. I'm torn. Really. Forest Lake is free. Downtown is not. Guess I'll let the weather decide. Or maybe I should take a vote.

    Tomorrow is Sam and Alex's dance recital - the girls are quite excited. Then Saturday night I get to see Becky! She's about 6 months pregnant and I haven't seen her for almost a year. She's in town for the weekend.

    Have a great weekend!

    Love and Funnel Cakes,
    Cari

    Thursday, May 29, 2003

    Sold Out!

    Well, the e-bay auction only lasted for 2 hours and 7 minutes! Someone bought it using Buy It Now! Maybe I should have raised that buy it now price... nah, I'm just glad it's gone! Now I paid less than $100 for my new phone. I can retract my feeling guilty entry. I love e-bay.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2003

    Sanyo SCP-5150 on E-bay

    I listed my old Sanyo SCP-5150 on e-bay.

    If you buy it, I'll be your friend. Maybe. ;)

    Wish me luck.

    No Good Slacker

    This schedule is really starting to get the best of me... I swear I've only been home for a total of 5 waking hours since Thursday. It's been loads of fun but it's taking it's toll. I'm going to apologize ahead of time because I lack the necessary skills to be concise so this will likely be a long one.

    Thursday night we lost our softball game in the usual fashion. What set the evening apart was the umpire who had also umped our first game. So we get to the game, start warming up and he asks us, "Are you guys from a rehab center or something?" A rehab center?? We exchange glances and say no. He explains that he thought we were all had drug problems and were in rehab or some church cult because we didn't have any beer and we were losing so bad yet were having such a great time - like we were just happy to get out and play. Church cult? It's so ridiculous it's funny! Nearly every call he made was in our favor. See it can be a good thing when your ump thinks you're a drug-addicted-chuch-cult-member.

    Friday Heather, Mike and I went to The Sunshine Factory for dinner, drinks and trivia and then started in on the kitchen floor. We tiled it black and white - looks quite sharp. Afterwards we went to the Eagle's Nest where Mike ran into his usual brood. 2 of his friends talked to us for quite awhile. The 1 guy was hitting on me pretty hard but I was keeping it real. It wasn't difficult to do as he kept referring to me as "You Asian People". Quite the charmer. Especially coming from a 34-year-old-recently-divorced-self-proclaimed-born-again-virgin. You really shouldn't tell a girl you're trying to impress any stories involving a toilet. Also, referring to them as "You anything" is probably a bad idea.

    Afterwards we went to a bonfire 2 blocks away from the house. We had more beer, and Heather & I attempted to leave at 3am only to fall over the retaining wall rather gracefully. We were paralyzed with laughter and ended up staying another half hour or so while Mike finished his beer.

    Woke up bright and early sicker than a dog. I made it to Sandy's about 20 minutes late and helped them bring a load over to her new house in Blaine. It's about 1 mile away from where I play ball! It's looking really nice and we're all really happy for her. I got home at about 12:30 and tried taking a nap unsuccessfully. Jill called and her roommates housewarming party was already underway. I decided to get up, go for a jog and get ready to go. I'm nearly convinced that jogging is a cure-all as I felt like a million bucks after my 3 mile tour. I got to Jill's at about 4:30 and we headed to the Minnetonka Mist for dinner. Nothing like a $7.95 burger that doesn't come with fries! We ate, we drank, we watched a guy hit the pier with his 30' yacht, we were merry. We headed over to Lord Fletcher's to check that out for a drink or two before heading back home. Quite the people watching extravaganza! I love it! Then, we went back to hang out with Jay-Jay and his friends again but they were running such a tight ship it was hard to relax. At about 9, he wanted people to go down to the fire so he actually put the table that was on the deck inside so people wouldn't have a choice! We sat by the fire for about 5 minutes and decided better of it. Went back to Fletcher's and hung out by the heater. We met some boys that were hanging out 3 doors down from Jill's. Kind of ironic! So we were up too late and had to get up early on Sunday to head up to Net Lake!

    The weather was so beautiful this weekend - it was perfect! We hung out outside and Jill's Dad & I taught her how to throw a football. We played with the dogs and ate the best Cajun pork chops ever. We played Yahtzee until bedtime and both of us crashed like there was no tomorrow. I woke up early, went for a run and got back just as breakfast was ready. Now that's what I call living! We went out on the boat, did a little fishing in the lake that has 6 fish :) On the way home we stopped in Duquette, where my family has history. There you will find Jackie Berger park which is named after my great-great Grandfather (there may be more "greats" in there) and even Berger Rd. We got ice cream at the General Store where I think my Dad might have worked one or several summers when he was kid. We got ice cream and swung on the swing-set at the park. Traffic wasn't even bad on the way home - what a fantastic weekend.

    Jill & I were laughing because we'd been together Thursday (softball), Saturday-Monday and we were going to the Twins game on Tuesday. I told her people are going to start talking :) But seriously - the Twins game was fun - got to see Kielty nail a 3 run homer to win the game! My record stands true - I've never seen them lose! Now we're not going to see each other tonight (what am I going to do!?) but don't worry, we'll see each other Thursday!

    Friday, May 23, 2003

    Things I Should Get Rid of But Just Can't

    And therefore they are taking up room in a box that I'll eventually have to move, unpack and try to come up with new reasons why I just can't live without them.

  • Silky blue shirt from Spain. I love it on the hanger, but it shows my bra so I won't wear it, but... it's from Spain.

  • Little tiny tank tops I bought when I moved to Minneapolis from Dallas. Sure, they're cute and just about brand new, but at least one of them is so itty bitty I know I'll never have the guts to wear it again, but... they're brand new. Plus I was actually happy with my body then and girls, you know - that comes few and far between.

  • Notebooks, letters and pictures from Jr. High and High school. I mean, do I really want to remember how big of a crush I had on Joe Hall or Anthony LeDuc? More importantly do I need anyone else to remember that? I mean other than whoever reads this completely public website. Or Anthony since I saw him at Urban Wildlife last year and the beer told me to tell him.
    <rolling eyes at self> I just might have embarassed myself into getting rid of said notebooks, letters and pictures.

  • Old planner pages dating back to 1997. Seriously, just because they're in pretty 3-ring-Franklin-sized binders doesn't mean they're not garbage worthy.

    I did however get rid of the Banana Republic pants that were so soft it was certainly illegal because I finally had enough of keeping all of those too small clothes just because they were so cute and nice. That was 6 weeks ago. Now I'm that size again. $%&#@!

  • Thursday, May 22, 2003

    Lease A Store

    Here's a sign I found at the Crystal Shopping Center in, you guessed it, Crystal.

    I so sent it to Jay Leno.

    Sobriety Test

    Jill came out for Girls' Night last night. We met at Bentley's at 9 - the rest of the gang came at the usual 10. It was mad fun and we closed her down as usual.

    On the way home I was too busy paying attention to the person on the other end of the cell phone and sped right by a Fridley Cop nestled neatly in the ditch on 694. I slowed up - without hitting the brakes which would be admitting guilt, but it was too late. The lights were on and unfortunately, someone was home.

    I opened my window, smiled, batted a few lashes; he looks at his watch and asks, "So are you headed home from the bar?" Without hesitation I offer, "Yeah, I came from Bentley's in Maplewood." I wanted to take it back and I'm sure he could tell, but the words were already out there. He nods and tells me to sit tight while he runs my license.

    Why do cops take so freaking long after receiving your license and registration? I'll bet they have a timer in their squad car and he turned his up from "Slightly Annoying" to "Make Her Worry About Jail Time". So I'm just about turned inside out by the time he returns and he says, "Please step out of the car." I oblige. He explains how we're going to perform some simple sobriety tests. I think I crapped my pants, not because I was drunk, but because I can't walk a straight line stone cold sober.

    I got to say the alphabet backwards, walk the line and the stand-on-1-foot-close-eyes-touch-nose trick. Seriously, what does that whole nose touching business prove? Someday I will have to have too many cocktails and try it and see if there's an issue there. Apparently I did the Z-Y-X's quite well as he let me go home without even a speeding ticket, but not before advising me to slow down in that area due to speed trapping activity.

    I'm no longer a sobriety test virgin. Sorry Mom & Dad.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    Completely Worthless

    I got my new phone last night. It's pretty cool except that it squeaks when it opens. I find that annoying for a phone that retails for $399.99. Anyway, I spent about an hour last night entering in phone numbers. I only got half-way through the alphabet when I began dozing off and had to make corrections when I realized I'd sleepily entered Becky's phone number in someone else's entry. I did this 3 times before finally giving into my drowsiness.

    You can imagine I was elated to find out that the SnapSync software I bought requires you to update Outlook and then transfer to your phone. Being the *guy* that I am I didn't read the manual first and thought I had things figured out. I synched the phone/Outlook only to find that it made duplicate entries of everything in my outlook addressbook. I deleted all the dups, read the manual, updated Outlook and synched everything up. So, it only took me about 3 hours to update my phone book - 2 and 1/2 of which can be attributed to ignorance.

    Perhaps the novelty is gone - I downloaded some ring tones and Claudia's picture for my wallpaper - now it's just another stupid phone that needs charging.

    Monday, May 19, 2003

    Fine. I admit it. I

    Fine. I admit it.
    I love Christina Aguilera's Stripped CD.

    So much that I had to fight the urge to turn around and go back home when I realized I'd forgotten it on my nightstand. "Um, hello, bossman? I will be late for work because I had to go back for my Christina Aguilera CD. I couldn't possibly commute without singing Infatuation at the top of my lungs."

    Pshh.

    Crutches to Volleballs

    On Friday, Wendy, myself and my crutches went to The Rock in Maplewood to see Skywind. The band members went to school with Wendy and as it turns out, their lead singer's Dad actually owns The Rock so it was a real family venture that night. They were really fantastic - great performers, fabulous musicians. I was impressed. Also they did a remarkable cover of Pink Floyd's The Wall. I'd never heard that song live so I was enthralled. Good luck at 93X-fest!

    I met Steph, Martos & Jayden for lunch on Saturday at Buca. The food was great and Jayden was quite enchanted with me during the meal. He has the sweetest demeanor and smiles the hugest smile - it's great. Yep, he's 18 lbs of goodness!

    Afterwards, I met Heather & Mike at Canterbury Park for the Preakness. I didn't win. Also I lost playing blackjack. Plus you have to pay 50-cents a hand. So it wasn't exactly cheap entertainment, but, what is?
    Nevermind, don't answer that.

    The Saturday evening docket included volleyball, burger eating and MGL drinking. A good time was had by all and no one got hurt which is always a good thing. The ankle's doing OK - looking worse but feeling better.
    Now that's a life analogy if I've ever heard one.

    Sunday we played more volleyball at Bebops. 3-25 pt game match (rally scoring). We won 1 - it took us a little while to get used to the system and each other. We banked our buy-one-get-one-pitcher-of-beer token for next time.

    I think I had time to breathe twice this weekend.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2003

    Resolution

    Won auction for new Sanyo SCP-5300. OK so maybe I didn't NEED a camera phone but it was only $85 more than the phone Dan could sell me. That sounds like so much more in type than it did in my head. Pshh... Matters.

    Got quote for new valet key... are you sitting down? $26.99. WHAT?
    Valet this.

    Made copy of house key so now am officially part of household.

    Golfing was fun yesterday with Dad. 69 on the back 9 - struggled on the first 4 holes. But faired better on the front 9 with a 61 (par 38). Not bad for the first time out! Afterwards we went to Claddagh, a new Irish pub in Maple Grove. It was fantastic!

    Bowled a 246 on Monday - ridiculous. Not sure what's going on with me, but I'll take it!

    Monday, May 12, 2003

    Damn Birthdays

    Recap of Birthday:


    • Got downtown Minneapolis via bus lane on Hennepin Ave.
    • Got into "VIP" section of Drink (where the old Pickled Parrot used to be).
    • Arrived back at Galen's and crashed house party 2 doors down.
    • Fell on stairs. Not down the stairs, just on the stairs. As if that's somehow ....better.
    • Lost cell phone and valet key.

    There's probably more to it than that but my parents read this website.

    Also, some of it I can't remember.

    <still kicking self in head>

    Mom Weekend

    I woke up at 8:20am on Saturday. I quickly realized that getting back to sleep was going to be an impossibility so I got up and went for a jog. Then I went out to lunch with my Mom. Great Mandarin in Eden Prairie center was the destination. It was mighty tasty. Mom spoiled me. She gave me a convection/toaster oven, the Audioslave CD I've been lost without, and an adorable pair of chocolate brown sandals. We decided to shop around a bit. I've been against the Gap for reasons I cannot recall but we decided to give it a try. I needed jeans. At the storefront, a pair on the manequin caught my eye in particular. I looked around and couldn't find them so I asked one of the salesmen. He couldn't find them at first but then there they were on the 12.99 table! I now love the Gap because I'm a size 6 there. So I bought 2 pair of jeans. We then hit Brookdale's Marshall Fields where Mom bought me another outfit and and I found a pair of shoes. But shh, don't tell anyone about the shoes. We headed over to the old Ground Round where there is a new bar that serves up a mean Quesadilla and tasty brews. We watched the Wild lose in OT to the Mighty Ducks. They'll get them back tonight.

    Sunday, I got to Mom's at about noon. We went to Famous Dave's, ordered take-out and went back to her house. I was feeling a few effects from the night before and couldn't eat much. I took a 2 hour nap before volleyball and found out at about 4 that it was cancelled anyway. Mom & I took a ride to Grandpa and Grandma's to give Grandma her Mother's Day gift. Then we went to Friday's for dinner.

    See, something did go right this weekend :)

    Friday, May 09, 2003

    The Best Damn Dating Advice Period

    OMG! Of all of the dating advice I have heard, this bit is notebook worthy!

    5 Secrets to a Perfect Relationship

    1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

    2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

    3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.

    4. It is important that a man is good in bed and loves making love to you.

    5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

    Dr. Strangename

    As I was repairing a telephone I noticed 2 names on a phone list that made me chuckle:

    Dick Ripple
    Bob Furmember

    I guess it's fortunate that neither were named Harry.

    Thursday, May 08, 2003

    Pre-Birthday

    My friends so over-indulge me!

    First, the Wild tromp the Canucks 5-1 at home. I was feeling less of a person for missing the first 2 goals but Emily & I were treated to 3 goals in about 10 minutes when we got to The Bar.

    We grabbed the last empty table, ordered our 80 cent taps and cheered for the home team. Emily gave me an adorable Moo notepad and neato gum tin for my birthday. Wendy & Susie arrived shortly thereafter followed by Dan, his roomie Sara and her boyfriend.

    Wendy brought adorable little cupcakes and birthday candles and the gang sang Happy Birthday quite well albeit loudly. Jen brought me a humungous birthday shot. 2 strangers asked me if it was my 21st birthday. I was amazed. Especially since I'm the old hag of the group of 23 year olds.

    Wendy & Emily bought me a birthday shot with whipped cream. It was great until the whipped cream found its way in my nose.

    I had so much fun last night. It was just good clean - well mostly clean - fun.

    Birthdays rock.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003

    Trauma

    I left work early to meet the friendly Mattress Giant delivery people. I stopped at Hackenmeuller's Meat Market in Robbinsdale and bought 10 lbs of ribs and 2 quarts of potato salad. Then off to Cub for BBQ sauce and a disposable roasting pan. I anticipated Kathy, Tim & Kelly joining us all for dinner as Heather & Mike returned from Vegas at 2:45.

    I prepared the ribs and put them in at 250 at 3pm. I excitedly deflated the air mattress to prepare for my new bed. Kelly had Heather & Mike home at about 4pm. Heather & Mike left right away to pick up the girls from Kathy & Tim's. When they returned at 5, Heather checked her voicemails. New Hope Bowl had called and our 8 week summer bowling league started in T minus 2 hours. I began to worry that the ribs wouldn't get done in time for bowling. At the same time, Mattress Giant called to let me know they were running late and couldn't make it until 7pm. I'd be bowling. Kelly came through in the clutch and offered to be there for the delivery. 6:15 comes around and the ribs are still not done. We decide to eat after bowling.

    Just after we arrived at New Hope, Kelly calls. The box spring will not fit down the stairs. We decided to refuse delivery and exchange it for a 3 piece set. Kelly decided not to stay for dinner since he changed his hours to 6am-3pm and needed his beauty rest also the ribs were still not done.

    We bowled.

    I was keeping pace with 1 beer every 6 frames (who is this girl???). After 3 beers I decided I should quit since the pins seemed to be moving before my ball hit them.

    We came home.

    The ribs were finally done. All 10 lbs of them for Heather, Mike, Sam and I.

    They were tasty but really fatty. Very disappointed as were meat market ribs. Also meat market priced ribs.

    With much sadness, re-inflated air mattress.

    Began reading Chosen Prey, a book Heather bought for her trip only to realize she'd already read it. She'd bought 2 books for her trip - 2 days apart. She'd already read both of them! Luckily she had better luck in Vegas by winning $2,000 on her first $2 keno bet. Nice work Vegas queen! I cannot wait until September.

    3-piece queen sets are not stocked. Am $100 poorer and will have to wait until Saturday, possibly even next Thursday! I might cry.

    Monday, May 05, 2003

    Sleep Tight

    I bought a Serta yesterday at Mattress Giant.

    They're delivering it today so I get to leave early and sleep well tonight!

    I'm so going to just lay in bed all afternoon.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2003

    Time Flies Even When You're Not Having Fun

    All right, maybe I had a little fun in the process, but mostly not.

    I packed like a mad woman on Friday night from 5:30 until 11:40 when Emily so graciously rescued me. I spent the wee hours of the evening adding to Dan's collection of beer bottles. I returned home, slept for 3 hours and began packing again. This time Mom, bless her heart, helped me all day. I didn't realize how much freaking crap I had accumulated in the past couple of years. It's ridiculous. I'm going to need to buy a gigantic house.

    I had plans to meet up with Jill and her family at Gustaf's but alas I was exhausted. I did end up watching movies at Dan's, however. We saw Lost Highway and The Usual Suspects. I'm still confused about Lost Highway. I'm going to have to see it again if I want to have a theory on it.

    On 2 hours of sleep, I picked up the U-Haul. Brent, Kelly & I got everything out of the apartment and into the truck in about 3 1/2 hours. When we got to Heather & Mike's, my Dad was there and Shelly arrived shortly thereafter. We moved everything downstairs in about an hour.

    Afterwards, Mike treated us to Johnsonville Brats on the grill and a bonfire.

    In the end, the beer exists only in our memories and we all probably slept like babies that night. Thank you Brent for helping so much, I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. Kelly was a life-saver this weekend, no way around it. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Also, thank you Claudia for making me laugh.

    Monday, I had the day off from work to clean the apartment. Kelly took a half day and helped me. Unfortunately there was quite a bit left over at the apartment and we ended up having to make 3 more trips. Mom helped immensely by taking the excess to Goodwill. We went back on Tuesday to finish completely. It felt good to have everything done. I wouldn't have been able to do it all without Kelly's help.

    I turned in the keys today.

    Good-bye Roseville. So long, Flameburger, A&W Drive-in, Stupid Cub, Mobil Free Can of Pop Station, Co Rd B-2 and the house I love on it. But don't miss me, I'll be back.

    Friday, April 25, 2003

    Rain Drops Better Not Fall on My Head

    It's supposed to rain on Sunday morning.

    I'm moving on Sunday.

    Unfortunately, my moving friends are not water resistant.

    I will absolutely cry if it rains.

    Thus creating more water.

    There may be floods.

    Why am I being so dramatic? I just realized that it's supposed to stop raining at 9am.

    And I was a straight A student. Mom, Dad, how do you like your honor student now?

    Thursday, April 24, 2003

    Dooley vs. 5-0

    So I'm on Larpenteur Ave going 38 in a 30. There's a car in front of me and one to the right. This big black truck starts tailing me. He's dancing behind me trying to find a way around me. Ordinarily if there had been room, I would have changed lanes and let him pass but I was trapped. He was unmoved by my plight. As I approach my turn, the light turns red and I slow to a stop in the left turn lane. He blows through the light which has been red now for 2 full seconds. Coincidentally, a Minneapolis police officer has just finished his lunch break at the corner gas station and reconsiders going east to tag the nasty tailgaiter. Your dooley can't save you now! Hope you enjoy your speeding/red light running ticket. My bumper thanks you.

    Thursday, April 17, 2003

    Nice Try?

    I upgraded my Movable Type to version 2.63 and finally got my blog to work like I want it to. It's only been 2 days. I've developed a severe irrational fear of stylesheets. Please bear with me, I should have the whole site updated by tomorrow. Or next week. The very latest, July 4th. But seriously, let me know if it sucks. I'll try not to cry.

    Monday, April 14, 2003

    Retraction

    Dear fake person I wrote strongly worded letter to on 3/26:

    I apologize for unjustly accusing you of stealing my pretty blue spring coat. You will be happy to hear that it was found hiding safely underneath another coat at Adam's house.

    I'm sure you do take care of your things including your coats with great pride and probably don't even like blue so wouldn't even give my coat a second glance.

    But just in case you reconsider your hatred of blue, please don't take my pretty blue spring coat. I'll be watching out for you.

    Sincerely,

    Crazy coat woman

    Peace Out

    Friday night's bowling banquet proved to be interesting. No thanks to the Bitch Fight "Shots" that Jill and I were presented with. I won the award for Most Improved Bowler - my average went up 18 pins this year. That was completely unexpected. After the banquet we went to Heather & Mike's for some follow-up cocktails. There was some weirdness, some ridiculous conversation, but in the end we worked it out and maybe are the better for it.

    We went to Princeton Saturday morning for Dennis' funeral. It was a nice service. Dennis was a special person. We're going to miss him - I mean who's going to catch dinner when we come home empty handed??? Our thoughts and prayers are with Dennis' loved ones. Especially Brittany and Jessica.

    Saturday night was the Flaherty's fun night. First game was bumper bowling with a twist - you have to bank your ball off a bumper... Second was normal no-tap and Third was low ball where you have to hit at least 1 pin with each ball but you want the lowest score. If you don't hit a pin (i.e. gutter ball or miss on your second ball) then you got a 10 for that ball!

    Sunday we grilled ribs and practiced volleyball and searched unfruitfully for my beloved football. We met Kris & Jake at Forest Hills at 5:30 for the banquet. We talked the league into adopting our gutter pin trophy idea. Our team took 5th place! Also, Kelly won the no-tap tourney for the guys with a 286 and I won for the girls with a 287! Pretty exciting stuff. No really, it is.

    We went back to the apartment, collected more of Kelly's stuff and said goodbye. We're going to do our own thing this week and have another full weekend next weekend. Doyle's banquet on Saturday and then Easter Sunday.

    Also I have no voice. It truly was peaceful this weekend.

    Thursday, April 10, 2003

    The Truck Hath Runneth Me Over

    Sunday was my Grandma's 80th birthday celebration. KFC and DQ cake was devoured. Kids laughed, adults snapped pictures.

    Monday I came down with a cold. Realized that I haven't been sleeping because due to stress and uncertainty about Kelly. I'm love him but I need him to be more responsible for himself. I don't mind helping him when he's struggling but I don't know that one should actually take care of the other completely. You have to be your own man sometimes. It's tough to be the heavy all of the time. That being said, it's impossible to deny our compatibility. We have so much in common yet just enough different to challenge each other. We have fun. It's confusing. It hurts. So I talked to him about it Monday night. He didn't know what to say. He went outside after making himself a cocktail and came in an hour later stating he'd have his things moved out by the end of the week. It's what I felt it would eventually come down to, but I didn't know how to go about it.

    Tuesday, even more sick. My immune system isn't taking this well.

    Wednesday, fever still. Working from home. Kelly came by to pick up more of his things. I'd gotten most of his remaining things together for him. We talked. I told him I needed some direction. Are we going our separate ways, hoping to be friends in the long run? Are we giving him some space to get his stuff together and figure out where he's at and re-evaluate this in a few months? Should I be getting on with my life or just clearing my head? He'd like this to work out. It seems so simple it's so unjust. All we can hope for is patience, understanding and good friends to help us get through this. A little luck wouldn't hurt either. Or the right lottery ticket.

    Thursday - still sick damnit. Mom came over, had lunch. Went shopping. Spent money shouldn't have. Bought Christina Aguilera CD. Couldn't look at cashier during checkout. Happy though that gift card I found had $3.60 on it.

    Tomorrow's the Monday night league bowling banquet. Saturday is Chad's uncle Dennis' funeral. He has passed much too soon. He will be missed. He is survived by 2 beautiful daughters. They're in our thoughts and prayers. Saturday evening is the last night of the Saturday night bowling league and Sunday is its banquet. Nothing like a crazily busy weekend. As it would happen, I'll see Kelly all 3 days. I'm glad that we're both being smart about this and are on good terms. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive and let me cry, rationalize, over-analyze and dramatize. I can't thank you enough.

    Friday, April 04, 2003

    Combo

    For Lunch today I had a bowl of Frosted Flakes. And my left over lobster tail.

    Bet they won't make that a Combos snack.

    Wednesday, April 02, 2003

    Internet Explorer Error

    I use IE 6.0 w/Windows 2000.

    On this homepage, I'm getting an IE error saying

    "Problems with this Web page might prevent it from being displayed properly or functioning properly..."
    ....Line 2
    ....Char 1
    ....Error: Syntax Error
    ....Code 0

    And

    ....Line 410
    ....Char 3
    ....Error: Object Expected
    ....Code 0

    This last one will probably change since I've updated the page but does anyone know what the heck this means? I haven't changed the fundamental programming of my webpage for quite some time.

    Also, maybe this is just an error I'm getting here at work. If you see an error, would you please leave a comment with the error message?? Or if you know anything about how to debug this I would greatly appreciate your help! I can't pay you but I do have Monopoly money if interested.

    Thank you.

    Bad Luck at the Blue Fox

    Kris, Jake, Kelly & I met at the Blue Fox for some pre-bowling eats and cocktails. Their food is actually quite good for bar food and we were marvelling in the delectables when Kris noticed a big fat long hair in her waffle fries. The waitress apologized, brought a new plate in about 7 minutes and let us know she comped the meal for her. After dinner, Kris ordered a beer. It came, the waitress went and there was a piece of meat in Kris' beer. Laughter ensued. The waitress was astonished and extremely apologetic. She comped the beer as well. So let it be known - Kris is a great dinner date!

    Friday, March 28, 2003

    Surgeon General's Warning:

    Tonight's Girls' Night Out will be celebrated by Jill, Jill and Cari. It is likely this will be bad for someone's health. Parental discretion advised.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2003

    Coat Clepto

    Dear whomever stole my pretty light blue spring coat:

    Thank you for stealing my favorite spring coat on Saturday evening. I really appreciate the fact that you didn't have the curds to just ask, I mean really, I might have said yes.

    Now that you're the unrightful owner, you need to know, that coat just got back from Vegas and has a coffee stain on the left sleeve, look you'll see it. It needs immediate dry cleaner attention. It's hopeless though I'm sure as since you're the type of person who would steal someone elses coat, you're not likely to actually take care of it - I mean if it's dirty, just go steal another one.

    Sincerely,

    Cari Berger

    Tuesday, March 25, 2003

    Sin City?

    Sunday, March 16th
    5:20am - Walked in form of zombie to bathroom where showered making all efforts to stay sleeping during cleansing ritual.
    5:45am - Paced apartment recalling pictures of all packed necessities in mind ensuring would not arrive in Vegas without any underwear.
    5:50am - Left apartment in blur. Met Dad, drove to airport.
    6:20am - Arrived at HHH terminal.
    6:22am - Found end of check-in line for Champion Air. It was about 400 people deep. Dad sent me for coffee while he held our space in line. Found fresh coffee plus Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason for $6.99. This was going to be a great day. The coffee was too hot to drink but I needed the wake up immediately so I removed the lid encouraging it to cool off quickly. I was worried about being bumped and burned but assured myself that my Dad was there to protect me, besides I was on vacation. I was invincible.
    6:34am - Old man and old woman are walking my direction. I back up a step to let them through but then they stop as if I'd invited them to cut in line. Dad says, "If you're looking for the Champion Air line, the end is over there." The old man moves abruptly towards me and before I know it, coffee is on my hand, wrist and yet I'm strangely worried about it getting on my luggage. Everything is in slow motion now. Luckily, the burn was just superficial and was gone by the time we arrived in Vegas. Is this the way you want to start a vacation that is based so much on luck?
    9:45am Vegas time - Broke nail on way to pick up rental car.
    10:10am - Check into MGM. Assume we will not be able to obtain room until 3 or 4 as have watched other guests be turned away. Pleasantly surprised room is ready. Change out of coffee stained shirt and into brand new Vegas clothes.

    Let the fun begin!

    On my suggestion, Sunday evening we saw Jubilee at Bally's. It was absolutely fantastic! The typical Vegas showgirl/variety show. Very entertaining. Dad promised to tell everyone that I took him to see a booby show.

    Monday, March 17th
    Went to the Hoover Dam in the morning. What a fantastic thing to see! It's a short 30 minute drive and it's just amazing. The tour is definitely worth it - you see a narrated slide show and then take an elevator down 400 or so feet to take a look at the generators. It's just something else to see this gigantic structure coming out of a mountain.

    Monday evening we were amazed by "O" at the Bellagio. It was truly Cirque du Soleil at their best. The entire show is done in, over and around water. Synchronized swimming, trapeze, contortion, diving, russian trapeze and on and on... It's a must see.

    After the show, we made our way to Fremont Street (downtown) for the St. Patrick's Day celebration. After all I have been in the USA for 24 years today! The street is covered and a light show commences on the hour - we arrived a few minutes before the show started. We gambled a bit and I had green beer served in a ceramic leprechaun named "Mr. O'Lucky." We met up with Greg, Kevin and his girlfriend at the Golden Nugget before we left. We ended up having "dinner" with them and taking in their NHL faux-star meeting, hotel room trashing stories.

    Tuesday, March 18th
    Tuesday morning we went to the Stratosphere intending to go up in the tower and ride the Big Shot and the Rollercoaster, but both rides were closed due to wind. We toured the casino and played a bit. Dad wasn't feeling well so I had him drop me off at Ceasar's Palace while he went back to MGM for a rest. I played Kelly's $5 on the money wheel, lost and headed to the Venetian in search for the green adventure shoes I saw in the Jay Leno magazine. Turns out they don't carry them so I headed to the Bellagio to pick up my Dad's statue he bought from "O". I then started walking towards the MGM. I didn't think it was very far away - after all I could see it. 40 minutes later I'm finally at NY NY which is across the street from MGM. One of the bike chariots there kindly asks me if I'd like a ride anywhere. I asked him where the heck he was back at the Bellagio! Back in the room, I took a short cat nap and then we headed down to eat - we planned on seeing the Treasure Island and Mirage free shows. Dad still wasn't feeling well though and in the end we decided it'd be best for him to rest so he'd be OK to see the Grand Canyon on Wednesday. I made a night of gambling at MGM - winning 350 quarters on my first 75 cents on the Wheel of Fortune machines. Was loads of fun. Made my way to the black jack table where I played for over 3 hours. I just about broke even and headed up to bed at about 11.

    Wednesday, March 19th
    Woke at 7am and embarked on the 4.5 hour drive to the Grand Canyon at 8am. Was absolutely incredible! Took lots of pictures and stopped at about 4 of the observation points. Headed back to town at about 2:30.

    Saw the 8:30pm Pirate show and the Volcano at the Mirage. Took a leisurely walk back to the MGM. Tomorrow was going to be an early one - had to be at the airport by 6am!

    Thursday, March 20th
    Bye bye Vegas. <sniff>

    Most Memorable food:
    Rainforest Cafe: MGM - Crabcake sandwich
    Noodles: Venetian - Shrimp and hand rolled rice noodes, also shrimp soft noodles, mmmmm!

    Can't wait to go back!

    Monday, March 24, 2003

    Loser

    3 things that didn't happen to me in Vegas:

  • Hit the 39.2 million dollar jackpot on the Megabucks machines
  • Won a PT Cruiser
  • Thought lost wallet, spent an hour searching, crying and ultimately cancelling all credit cards only to find it an hour later.*

    * This might have happened, just not in Vegas.

    I'm buried in e-mails, voicemails, projects and sunshine. I'll jot down more details tomorrow. Wish us luck at bowling tonight!

  • Friday, March 14, 2003

    Viva Las Vegas

    In 48 hours, I will be in Las Vegas. I can't wait!

    Tuesday, March 11, 2003

    A Man's Job

    I've always been in a "man's" job so I've become accustomed to having to prove myself maybe a little more than the next guy. And honestly, I'm OK with that. I guess it could be because I'm short. Probably more about the fact I was teased and made fun of as one of 2 Asian kids in school. I've always looked at people's put-downs as a reflection of themselves and not of myself. If you're comfortable with where you are in life, you don't say things like, "You have an office? What, do they just give them to anyone? How do you rate?" Why is it so hard to believe that I could have a real office? With a door. I'm on fire about it. I couldn't even respond. I know, hard to fathom me being at a loss for words. If only he knew that I probably make twice as much as he does, too.

    Have a nice day, asshole.

    Monday, March 10, 2003

    Troopers and Scratch Bowlers

    One of my most popular destinations is Heather & Mike's. 694 to highway 100 is the obvious route and the speed limit is 60 and 55 respectively. I'm comfortable going around 70 on 694 and I have a hard time slowing down on 100. Lately however, I've been feeling like it's my turn to be awarded a speeding ticket so I've been trying to be careful.

    Thursday evening, I was on my way to meet Heather at about 8. I wasn't alone on 694 but I was the only one who took the exit to hwy 100. About 100 yards into 100, I noticed I was going 70 and slowed down to about 62. In my rear view, I saw a car gaining on me fast. Sometimes my instinct tells me, you can speed up too! but this time, I thought, let him get the ticket. Turns out, it was a trooper.

    That fateful evening we were headed to New Hope Bowl. We emptied a pitcher of miller lite and then made our way to the lanes where the leagues had just finished. To our surprise the lanes had about an inch of oil on them which made my ball nearly worthless. It also left a nice greasy residue on the ball. This is the suspected reason why Heather threw the ball behind her instead of the direction of the pins. The lingering leaguers laughed. I barely broke 100 that first game and didn't do all that much better the second. Heather redeemed herself by throwing a turkey and finishing out with a 160! We found out later that the Thursday night league is a scratch bowling league. The median average is a humble 210. I averaged that. Over 3 games.

    Heather, 2 words. Lawn Ornaments.

    Friday, March 07, 2003

    1969 Thunderbird

    I listed the T-Bird on Carsoup.com.

    429 Thunderjet V8

    Check it out!

    Tuesday, March 04, 2003

    Prayers for Debby

    It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Debby's son Nick was involved in an automobile accident on Saturday. We don't know any details as of yet but his funeral was this morning at 10am in Palestine, TX.

    Debby, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you.

    Monday, March 03, 2003

    Winter Wonderland

    Well, it's winter once again in Minneapolis. We got a nice bit of snow this morning. I live 6 miles away from work. It took me 45 minutes. Co Rd B2 was backed up due to a sand truck so I thought I'd be sly and cut over Dale to Co Rd C. What was I thinking? Co Rd C was backed up even further! I made the best of it though. What else could I do but enjoy the KQ morning show while intently monitoring my rear view mirror willing the tailgaiting school bus not to hit me.

    Alas I am at work and wish I couldn't make it. We're remodeling our building and guess who's responsible for planning, budgeting and ultimately moving the call center's telephones? Lucky me.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2003

    Clepto

    After bowling on Saturday night, we took our places in the bar to finish our pitcher of beer. It was 9:15. Because we were certainly close to dehydration, we ordered another and set goals to be out of there before the liquor store locked its doors. We tore out of there at 9:55 and buzzed 2 doors down and picked out 2 18-packs. While Mike was paying for the goods, Kelly slyly shows Heather a bottle of wine he has behind his back and motions "Shhhh". Heather whispers, OK I've got your back. We turn to leave and there was some commotion but I paid no attention and made my way to the Durango. Once inside Heather says, "Kelly's got something up his sleeve." When questioned, she continues, "He's going to try to steal a bottle of wine!" What??! That tool, I'm thinking. She describes how he showed her the bottle of wine and that she was waiting for him to leave before her to cover him. Our eyes divert to the locked door. Since we were the last patrons of the day, the owner locked the door behind us, I'm certain of that. I'm about 30% positive we're all going to jail. Not a second too soon, out comes Kelly. He's not running or frantic, in fact he's smiling. It turns out he only wanted to surprise me by buying us a bottle of my favorite wine. His way of showing Heather and saying shh, was in fact, intended to have her make sure I left the store and didn't see him buying the bottle, and not that he was trying to steal the wine and needed cover. I felt like a tool for thinking that he'd actually take the wine without paying for it. Mike was laughing about the fact that Heather was going to cover for Kelly's crime and in the end, there were no cops, handcuffs or jail-time to write about. Only mass misunderstandings, grapes, hops and barley.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

    1969 T-Bird For Sale!

    It's official! I'm going to be moving into Heather & Mike's lower level in April in order to save for a home.

    Because this means Sayonara to the below ground heated parking spot, I'm selling the beloved T-Bird. It's a beaut! Good runner, excellent body (no bondo!), brand new top, new tires, original paperwork/manual/service records, suicide doors! Click the CONTACT button or leave a comment if you're interested!

    Tuesday, February 18, 2003

    Planned Out

    I've been using my Franklin Covey planner for years. I update it with all of my tasks for the day and check them off when complete. This allows me some closure at the end of the day. I can breathe a sigh of relief, leave work at work and head home free.

    This morning, I wrote 2 tasks down: Avaya proposal and Minam. You're thinking, what is Minam? The fact of the matter is that even I don't know. I've tried retracing my writing, looking at it from 7 different angles and still it doesn't make sense. The "a" looks like a capital A and capital letters never pop up out of nowhere in my handwriting. I'm completely perplexed. This device that usually grants me the serenity of knowing I'm not missing anything is creating much angst today. Even my e-mail records aren't jogging my memory.

    So if anyone knows what Minam might be, do you want to let me know? Surely it won't be accomplished if I don't know what it is.

    Monday, February 17, 2003

    Spa Day

    Friday was Heather and my first annual spa day. Santa brought Heather a spa package from Spalon Montage. We decided it'd be fun to do this together so I told Kelly not to worry about Valentine's day - we're going to da Spa!

    We were spoiled with an hour long massage, an hour long facial, manicure, hair and make-up. You may remember I've been fighting a neck injury since October and not finding much relief... well, I have more range of motion and less pain than I've had since then!! Sometimes it pays to pamper yourself!

    I would highly recommend this to anyone. It's expensive at about $225 if you don't buy any products, but so worth it!

    So Heather, what are you doing for Valentine's Day for the rest of your life? :)

    Friday, February 07, 2003

    Road Trip

    On the way up to Grand Marais...
    K: Did you remember my slippers?
    J: Slippers?! My God! How OLD are you?
    K: I just started wearing them and now that's all I wear to bed.
    C: So you run around naked except for your beloved slippers?
    M: Thanks now I have a visual.
    C: Hey at least he didn't tell you where he wears them.

    Tuesday, February 04, 2003

    All Cracked-Up

    Jill & Chris arrived on our doorstep at 1 o'clock on Friday. We went to the liquor store and ate at Subway before embarking on the journey to Grand Marais. It should have taken us about 4 and 1/2 hours to drive the 250 miles, but stops at such places as the Black Bear Casino and the Beaver Bay Inn delayed us about 2 1/2 more hours. Strangely, I have a pool chalk souvenir from the bar for which I can't remember the name. The Best Western proved to be easy to find and we hung out with Kris, Jake, Ray, Tammi, Jeremy and Nikki until about 1.

    Sleepy and slightly hungover, we awoke early to get ready to hit Lutsen. We had breakfast at the S.O.B. Caf頨South of the Border). It really was a SOB - I paid $6.25 for an omelet and hashbrowns. You know they have a different menu from which their locals order. There's no way farmer Bob over there is paying $6.25 for his omelet every day. Anyhow, we finally made it to the mountain at 10. I'd recently lost my head and decided I'd try snowboarding and Jill jumped on the bandwagon. Chris & Kelly took us to the top of the mountain via gondola to attempt this feat. Even after I'd pointed out that the sign said in large letters "Intermediate and Advanced runs only. This is not for the Novice." I understand where Chris was coming from when he said it's hard to learn on the bunny hill because there's not enough room - by the time you start, you're already at the bottom. Upon further review, however, it's clear that it's best to learn how to slow down and stop on the bunny hill before you go up to the Intermediate/Advanced runs and attempt to snowboard. Much time was spent just trying to get up. Then once up, trying to carve. Then while gaining speed and realizing you're out of control, you have no choice but to throw yourself down instead of running full force into an evergreen. Jill & I ended up walking down the mountain back to the gondolas to ride back to safety and take refuge in a pair of skis.

    We skied with the boys until 2:30 when Kelly decided to fracture his collar-bone. He made it to the bottom of the hill and was slowing down and nearly stopped. The front edge of his snowboard caught and he pitched forward and landed plainly on his left shoulder. At first he thought he'd dislocated it. We road back to the gondolas and went to the ski patrol to get him checked out. They recommended an immediate hospital visit. We had Chris' car keys and were carefully constructing a plan to make sure that Chris & Jill didn't get left at Lutsen when I look out the window and spot Chris' about 50 feet away. I jumped out the door and got his attention and the 4 of us made our way to the doc. The hospital turn-off was a huge hill and I got Chris' Camry about 7/8 of the way up when the forward momentum wore off and we started to descend backwards. Chris sighed and said here give me the keys. We went back down the hill and made another go at it. Chris made it up about 1/8 of the way. I was slightly proud. Only 35 minutes later we were complete with an arm immobilizer and tylenol 3. Chris brought us back to the hotel where we ordered $20 pizzas from Sven & Ole's.

    We went out to the Howling Wolf where about half our group was playing pool. We moved on to the Harbor Light and then back to the BW just before bar close.

    We rose early on Sunday, snacked on near frozen left-over pizza and headed out to Lutsen for our last day of slope swooshing. We checked out of Grand Marais just before 3 and made it home at 8.

    I'm so glad Heidi, Kris & Jake turned us onto this - I'd forgotten how much fun skiing is. I'm anxious to get my own skis - I'll be hitting all of the spring clearance sales in search of the deal too good to refuse. Then perhaps I ought to pull out a sizable life insurance policy and hit the slopes like there's no tomorrow!

    Thursday, January 30, 2003

    And the winner is...

    Pappa Wayne wins the playoff pool by 1 point. If I would have been indecent enough to just pick against him for the Superbowl we would have tied. The fact that he would have won the tie-breaker? Well, that's beside the point.

    I won the season by 2 points. Frank came in 2nd place. So phhlbbt.

    Can't wait until next year. You'd better bring it!

    Monday, January 27, 2003

    Bowling Recovery

    It's possible that bowling may send us all to AA. Unless it sends us to the poorhouse first. Crown fits nicely in a flask which fits snugly in a coat pocket. Who said they were out of style? After losing 5 pts on the lanes, we took up space in the bar with Butchy et al and then made our way to Heather & Mike's for some Catch Phrase and Chris & Jill's Captain Silver. I thought it was a good idea to drink directly from the flask. It was. Until I got home and the world started spinning like a top. After we made the 20 mile journey home, I found out that we were invited to stay overnight at the Rymers.

    I couldn't even drink a beer during the Superbowl. That either means that I'm getting old or that I'm allergic to flasks. Unfortunately we're going to have to hear a lot more from Sapp and Keyshawn-give-me-the-ball Johnson. The Raiders didn't show up to play. The whole team was solemn on the sidelines until the last 2 minutes of the game. So the Bucs who won 0 games in their inaugural year in '76, finally take the championship 27 years later. Gruden deserves accolades of credit. For his tremendous coaching and for giving credit to Dungy. Go Vikes?

    Thursday, January 23, 2003

    Adventures in Babysitting

    I never thought I'd be this excited about babysitting! We're going to watch the Rymer girls tonight while Heather & Mike live it up at Kieran's for his sister Steph's birthday celebration.

    I get to see that little angel Claudia!

    Wednesday, January 22, 2003

    No More Motel 6

    We made the mistake of staying at the Motel 6 in Richfield (Mall of America). Not only was there a dispute involving a knife and 3 squad cars during the night, but there also was no running water in the morning.

    I complained because that's the whole reason why you stay at a hotel, duh. I got a credit for $10.37. I said that's not enough and was told to call the manager, Jarod, who would be there in an hour or so. I called 2 more times on Saturday but the manager was never in.

    I called Monday but the manager wasn't in. I called Tuesday and finally spoke with Dave, the manager on duty. I explained the situation and he said they'd probably send me a certificate good for a year. He'd call me back. I never got that call.

    I called today and spoke to Dave who explains that since they were not at fault for the pipe bursting, there would be no compensation. What? He then makes the mistake of saying that I signed the slip for the $10.37 credit and so they wouldn't do anything else for me. I'm now expecting a phone call from the elusive manager Jarod so that he can tell me the same thing that Dave did.

    This is so ridiculous. I will never stay at another Motel 6 again. Ever. I would strongly encourage you to do the same.

    Monday, January 20, 2003

    My First Barfight

    I invited friends to meet us up at Lil' Ditty's piano bar at the Mall of America sometime after 8pm on Friday.

    When Heather, Mike and I got there Chad & Wendy were already there holding us a table. Shortly thereafter, Jill, Mandy, Scot, Kris, Jake, Heidi and another Scott arrived. Chris and Tim joined us and it was a riot.

    Kris, Jake, Heidi, Scott & I headed to the motel at bar close and met my cousin Shannon and a few of her friends. We threw back a few crown & cokes and laughed about the miniature bar brawl that topped off the night. If you've ever been to a piano bar before you might already know they sing all the songs you know and love with a twist and make a habit of calling people up to the stage to make spectacles of. A girl wearing a long coat and jeans was up right in front of us bending over to the song about her rear and Tim lifted her coat up. She got all up in arms and started calling him every name in the book and causing a scene. Tim blew her off and she went back to her boyfriend a few tables over. The rest of the evening she glared our direction and flipped a few birds here and there. I don't know exactly how it started but at about 12:15 I look over and Kris & Jake are at their table and I can tell Kris is in a heated discussion with someone. I went over to try to get them back over to our area. So I'm saying things like, c'mon guys it's not worth it, screw them let's go and this woman says to me, "that's my daughter and I don't appreciate those kinds of things said about her" & I said "I understand, I'm trying to get us out of here but she should keep her mouth shut". Next thing I know Kris has a grip of this girls' hair, I get hit in the head and swung back to get out of the way. Kelly pulls me out of the pile and all you can see are these 3 girls trying to hit Jake and all of these girls' boyfriends back about 10 feet. Pathetic. So security shows up finally and breaks everyone up. Someone says a girl wants to press charges against Kris because her lip is split open. I go running after Kris because there's no way she's going to admit to anything - 1st she didn't hit anyone and 2nd because she's got too much to lose. So we go talk to the police who were in agreeance with us that this is ridiculous. If anyone presses charges, everyone gets in trouble, not just 1 person. She decides not to press charges and we're sent on our way. Tim comes out and congratulates me. Apparently I'm the one who split this girl's lip. Go figure the diplomat ends up kicking someone's ass.

    I can't believe my first bar fight was an accident. Phooey.

    Monday, January 13, 2003

    Kris, Jake, Heidi, Jake, Kelly

    Kris, Jake, Heidi, Jake, Kelly & I went to Wild Mtn Friday night for some midnight-skiiing-Lutsen-preparing. It was loads of fun & no bones were broken which is always a plus. I did fall down and drew the attention of 4 ski patrols who had to help me up because my glasses were fogged up and I couldn't see. Luckily I hurt nothing but my ego. Did I mention I fell down on level ground? I forgot how much fun skiing was albeit expensive. We got home a little past 3am.

    Saturday morning we made our way to the butcher and picked up our meat. We stopped at Joan & Arman's and visited for an hour or so. They're so much fun to be around it's a shame we're so far away. Then we headed to my Dad's to stock his freezer. He sent us home with some chicken which we split with Heather & Mike.

    From Dad's we went to Mom's to do laundry and play games. We had lunch and talked & laughed while trying to play Catch Phrase 3 way. It works, but it's hard to decide how to score. We decided we'd each get points for the correct answers given while being the clue-giver. We also played Remote Possibilities which is so much less complicated than the instructions make it out to be.

    And then there was bowling. There was a great 1st game and lousy 2nd and 3rd games making us all sad but at least we bowled with the In-Laws so the company was good :) Marlene bowled us over again. There was much beer tested and unfortunate karoake singing. Butchy ended up wearing some of his own second-hand beer home. I have pictures to prove it. I've been extremely slow at picture posting lately, but someday this year they'll be here :)

    Sunday, Heather, Mike, Alex & Claudia came over to my Mom's for brunch. We visited all day and then made our way to the Rymer's for burgers and chicken poppers. Mmm mmm good. We went home, watched XXX and crashed.

    Tonight is bowling and the start of another crazy week.

    Friday, January 10, 2003

    In Case You Were Wondering...

    It is possible to pull your arm muscles by holding a newborn baby all day.

    I spent the day at Heather's yesterday. I played with Claudia and Alex and had lunch with Heather. We hadn't had one of those days for quite some time! Kelly came over after work and the boys made us tacos for dinner. We watched Must See TV and bid our farewells during news hour.

    I love that little Claudia so much, she'll never cease to amaze me. I'm going to enjoy this as much as I can.

    Wednesday, January 08, 2003

    The Top 10 Things I Haven't Written About

    Not in any specific order...
    10 New Year's Eve at Shelly & Brent's was loads of fun. Shrimp, Lobster & divine Crab Legs were enjoyed. We played Outburst and Pictionary. Who knew naming the 12 gifts of the 12 days of Christmas could be so difficult? I said French Chickens.
    9 We had another game night with Kris & Jake after bowling on Saturday. We played Catch Phrase until we were all in pain from the laughter. We made a huge dent in the Crown Royal.
    8 We've been on the lookout for freezer space - where oh where are we going to put 200 lbs. of beef??? (We pick up our 1/4 cow on Saturday)
    7 I have a headlight out. It's been out so long I'm afraid the other one is going to go and I'll be driving in the dark. Who knows maybe this will improve my driving.
    6 We're officially working towards buying a house. Save save save. Donate donate donate. :)
    5 I'm overdrawn. Stupid stupid. By $7.43 Even more stupid stupid.
    4 I gave Jill her own shiny bowling ball for Christmas. & a vintage bag. Her Dad gave her a bowling shirt with her name on it for Christmas. Everything is coordinated in blue. She's officially a bowler.
    3 I am patiently waiting for KS95 to announce my name in their Big Plastic Payoff contest. OK not so patiently, but waiting never-the-less.
    2 I absolutely love my new Pressure Cooker. What did we ever do without it???
    1 I think I'm addicted to the hand-held UNO game.

    Peace out - make it happen.

    Monday, January 06, 2003

    31 Glorious Days

    Claudia's a month old today! I can hardly believe it!

    I lost my voice with the new year and apparently haven't caught up with it yet. I was feeling fine on Friday but my condition's worsening daily. My aunt Shari is very sick. I sent her a card today. I hope we're both feeling better soon!

    You know you're really sick when you don't even want to bowl tonight. Well I suppose that's assuming you're a bowlaholic like me.

    Tuesday, December 31, 2002

    Happy New Year!

    I hope everyone has a fantastic time bringing in 2003!

    I ended this old year by catching a cold and falling down the stairs this morning. I thought I'd twisted my ankle as it was sore and swollen but that went away a couple of hours after the spill. I reinjured my neck however. I just finished Physical Therapy last week and was finally feeling better - even sleeping through the night. I'm back at square 1 and my doctor warned me not to be surprised if the healing takes just as long this time around. I'm so bummed I can't even appreciate the medication. Crappy.

    We're going to have a Lobster & Crab Leg dinner with Shelly & Brent and top the evening off with several bottles of wine, champagne and board games. I can't wait!

    Be safe! And that's an order.

    Thursday, December 26, 2002

    Merry Christmas!

    I hope everyone had a great holiday! I can't believe it's over already! Our Christmas was fantastic. Busy and exhausting but enchanting.

    We spent Christmas Eve at my Godparents' with my Dad. Heather & Mike came over at about 5:30 with Alex & Claudia. We opened presents together before they went on their way to Mike's parents. Kathy, Tim, my Dad, Kelly & I played Chickenfoot dominoes until about 10:30. It was so much fun! We got to Mike & Heather's at about 11. We helped them wrap presents and I spent some time with Claudia.

    This year marked a tradition change as this was the first Christmas the entire Berger family didn't get together but we weathered it well. It means so much to spend Christmas with those who are closest to you. Next year we hope to spend Christmas with Kelly's parents and family. Maybe we can work something out so that we don't have to miss Christmas Eve night at Heather & Mike's. We'll see!

    We spent the night at my Mom's and Santa paid us a visit! He was far too good to us this year - we haven't even had a chance to play with all our toys yet! We went to Shari's at about 1 and had chili and appetizers. We played the dice game and shared presents and laughter. After the party we went to Kathy & Tim's to play another dice game with my cousins. We got home pretty late but popped the cork on the bottle of wine from my boss and watched We Were Soldiers while I organized the Christmas presents. It's unbelievable, we have more this year than last and we had every intention of cutting down this year!!

    I hope your Christmas was as warm and full of love as ours! Happy New Year!

    Monday, December 23, 2002

    250,000 Twinkling Lights

    Taking the backroads to and from work has done 2 things. Decreased my road stress and given me a chance to appreciate some of the holiday displays some people have worked so hard on.

    One thing strikes me as ironic. When you see solar powered homes what do you think? It reminds me of my sophomore science teachers, both of whom were the good kind of tree huggers in that they did their best to preserve and protect and did so tactfully. Both discussed their homes being solar powered and explained a little about how it works and what it saves. So to me it's all about conservation and efficiency. I can't help but smile when I see a grand display of lit up lawn ornaments and thousands of synchronized blinking lights creating breathtaking harmony of reds, greens and blues on a house topped with 8 gigantic solar panels.

    Friday, December 20, 2002

    Happy Birthday Dad!

    We went to Benihana last night to celebrate my Dad's birthday. The food was fantastic. Dad had teriyaki beef with shrimp, Kelly had steak and shrimp and I had tenderloin chicken and shrimp. Our chef got a little frustrated a few times when the shrimp tails didn't flip over his head around his shoulder and into his shirt pocket but overall I'd give him a B+ for effort. Word to the wise... you get shrimp saute automatically for an appetizer, no need to order it - all you get is more shrimp! That being said, it's the same shrimp in the appetizer as in your entree, so keep that in mind when ordering. The fried rice is absolutely mouth watering. Order it. The sake martini is everything it sounds like it should be. Drink it if you're not driving.

    Dad - I hope you have a great birthday!

    Thursday, December 19, 2002

    KQ-Remake Sentral

    I listen to KQRS at work, the Twin Cities local classic rock station (60's-70's). Every day it becomes more and more apparent how lazy our current day bands are. It can't really be a compliment when your greatest hit is a remake of a legend's, can it? It's amazing how many hair band power ballads are actually Beatles tunes :) Somehow I don't think Lennon would be all that proud.

    Friday, December 13, 2002

    Well... with week 14 I

    Well... with week 14 I took the lead by a narrow point in the Higgins' Family football pool. I've been sitting in the shaddows in 2nd place patiently waiting my turn for quite some time now. Let's just hope I can hang onto it!!! It'd be kind of weird if I won it though considering that I'm the commissioner. Week 15 should be a nailbiter with play-off bids hanging in the balance. My scariest pick was Miami over Oakland. Oakland's tough but Miami's 6-1 at home. Plus Fiedler was my fantasy football hero for the beginning of this ho-hum season. Go fish!

    Wish us luck bowling this weekend - it's positions night and we're without Heather. We hope she'll be able to come to cheer us on & have an I-can-finally-see-my-feet-cocktail.

    Lots of shopping and laundry to do this weekend - mostly laundry but shopping's much more fun.

    Have a great one!

    Tuesday, December 03, 2002

    My God-daughter

    Heather's a week and a day overdue and is extremely anxious to have her baby girl to hold. She sees her doctor on Thursday and if she hasn't had her by Friday she'll be induced! I can't wait to meet my little God-daughter. I'm almost as antsy as Heather :)

    Mosaic

    Sometimes these fragments of life fit together so beautifully even though it's so crazy we hardly have time to look back and admire the art.

    Friday, November 22 was almost magical. Kelly & I have had a difficult month which might explain my sporadic posts. We've mended the appropriate places and made resolutions to try not to let the day-to-day things bog us down.

    I left work a few minutes early on Friday and stopped at MGM for a bottle of wine. I arrived home before Kelly but you can imagine my surprise when he walked in with nothing else but a bottle of wine from MGM. We giggled over the twin bottles and decided to open his first. We talked for awhile about work, about nothing and realized that we were hungry. It was 6:15pm. Some serious yellow pages finger walking was underway when a trailer for James Bond's Die Another Day broke the silence. It was opening night. We looked at each other wide-eyed and said, "Let's go!" in unison. Quickly a plan was devised - we'd eat at Damon's if they had immediately seating and catch the 8:15 show at Carmike Theaters. I went to my laptop and bought 2 tickets at Fandango.com and we were off. We arrived to find a full parking lot at Damon's. The wait was 30-40 minutes. We put our name on the list and hoped the tables would turn over quickly. We made our way to the bar to order a liquid appetizer. We waited in line for the bartender for awhile but were distracted by an open booth that seemed to be screaming for us to sit in it. We couldn't imagine why they'd leave an open booth with such a wait! Finally we'd had enough of the suspense and I asked the Host if it was seat yourself in the bar area. Unbelievably it was and we were waited on within minutes. The ribs and cajun whitefish were fantastic and we finished up with plenty of time to get a good seat for James Bond.

    The parking lot at Carmike was an ant farm with too many ants. We made our way into a tiny triangular side lot that fit about 20 cars. There was a car coming out of the lot so Kelly decided to check it out. As we pulled in, we noticed another car had driven around and was leaving the lot empty handed. We sighed knowing now that the lot was full. We got about 4 cars into our U-turn and like a lighthouse rescue beam, on pop reverse lights directly in front of us. We snagged the spot and were giddy at our good luck. We noticed that all of the 007 shows were sold out as we went to pick up our tickets. We purchased a pop and were on our way. It was more than 30 minutes pre-show and the marquee told us to wait in the lobby, but we made our way through the line of idly waiting people just to see how long before seating. The ticket taker took our tickets and told us to tread on our way. There was a sudden rush of people swarming in behind us. We were the 1st people in the theater. The movie was great - exactly what I expected. It's a James Bond movie - it's going to be full of innuendoes and unrealistic physical challenges. We rolled our eyes at the reality complainers. They stole my invisible car idea though do you think I can claim some royalties???? We were amazed at how fantastically everything fit together. We felt closer than we had for a long time.

    It was incredible.

    Thursday, November 07, 2002

    The Entertainer

    Kelly's parents' visit was a lot of fun. Wayne & Lynn, Nikki, Steve and the kids arrived at about 10am on Saturday. I made an egg bake, cheesy potatoes and sausage for brunch. The adults visited while the kids entertained the ferrets. We made our way to the pool in the afternoon only to find it was closed for cleaning. Luckily there is a gameroom and we enjoyed ourselves playing table tennis and pool. I had my first 2 beers. Nikki's family left around 5 and we made our way to Doyle's for our bowling league where more beer drinking ensued. Kelly's parents watched as we took all 7 points! I had a 500 series which included my first ever clean game (no open frames!) Ironically enough, I purchased new bowling balls the day before and was bowling with my old ball. Apparently my old ball is jealous and decided to show up to play. That or else I should start consuming special beverages at noon every bowling day. My Mom came up to the bowling alley to see us and we planned on going Moonlight bowling although never made it. We had fun eating appetizers and the best burgers in town instead. It was fantastic.

    Sunday morning I woke at 7:30 and started making homemade tortillas, spanish rice and salsa. Kelly made eggs. Afterwards we cleaned up and drove around Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park aweing over the changes in the past 5 years. We got back home around 3pm and I started on the Teriyaki chicken wings. Pork Tenderloin, twice baked potatoes and stewed carrots were on the menu for dinner. My Dad came for dinner and to meet Kelly's parents for the first time. Dinner was a hit.

    Kelly's parents left on Monday. We miss them already! I'm definitely cooked out for awhile, but it was a lot of fun to be the entertainer for the weekend!

    Thursday, October 31, 2002

    Happy Halloween!

    October has disappeared right before our eyes! I've been terribly busy planning and shopping for Kelly's parents' arrival this weekend. They're at his sister's today and tomorrow. Nikki & the kids are coming up with them on Saturday. Kelly's parents leave on Monday. We're excited to see them!

    Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween! We didn't even carve a pumpkin this year. Hmmph.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2002

    Pictures in Limbo

    I have a zillion pictures pending for picture page posting. ha.

    I finally won an e-bay auction for a reasonably priced legitimate copy of Photoshop 7 (as if I'm ever going to pay $600 for something that lives on my PC which costs far less).

    I sent the money today so hopefully I'll have the software in my hot little hands within the next 2 weeks. Then I will put the pictures through my own version of processing and publish them for your visual stimulation.

    So, Shelly, your wedding photos aren't posted yet, not because of my laziness but because of my awful auction winning skills of late. (I lost my first 2 auctions ever this week... in a row!)

    Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    Weekend Mahem

    Stephanie & Martos came over on Friday night for Teriyaki Wings and Pizza. We watched the Twins lose and caught up on things. Steph's due in January! We really need to get together more often!

    Saturday morning Kelly & I went to Samantha's last Soccer game. They tied 1-1! She did a great job.

    We went to Doyle's and pre-bowled while the kids did some bumper bowling. In the afternoon, Mike, Kelly & I threw the football around for awhile and ran a few plays. Kelly & I collided and I tweaked my neck. It was sore, but I didn't think it was anything to write home about.

    Saturday night, we bowled with Kris & Jake. Then Heidi & Jake came up and we enjoyed the moonlight bowling festivities. Perhaps the intoxication masked the neck soreness.

    Sunday was Hoosier Daddy's last game. The other team didn't show so we got our 3rd W. The team at field 5 was short 4 players plus their opponent was a no show as well. Ironically, 4 players from the 3rd field were loners and joined us for a just-for-fun game. We had 3 umps - it was pretty cool. We lost by 1 or 2 but it was a lot of fun. Perfect weather too - cool but comfortable.

    Monday Kelly took me to the ER because the swelling in my neck got really really bad really really fast and the pain was getting unbearable. Turns out the space between my 6th and 7th vertebrae is condensed. This could be nothing or it could mean I compressed or slipped a disc. I went to the doc yesterday and she prescribed some meds and some slow light stretches. She wants to wait until the swelling goes down a little before doing an MRI. The hope is that the swelling goes down and I start feeling a lot better by Friday and then the MRI won't be necessary. Being stuck at home is getting to me. There's only so much daytime TV one can stand. Plus watching all of these home improvement shows is making me want to start about 100 projects. Or maybe it's the drugs. Who's to say???

    Monday, October 14, 2002

    Thank you Kari

    for helping me with the missing gridlines in my tables. &nbsp; R us.

    You're smart. And nice. Plus you're highly accessible.

    Thursday, October 10, 2002

    Football Madness

    It's official. I'm a nut. I have 2 weaknesses: Football and HTML. I've now put them together. If you see me pacing around aimlessly muttering things like tables, gifs, and forms, don't be alarmed. Remain calm and refrain from making any sudden movements. Hand me my laptop and then run for cover. It's getting dangerous.

    Monday, October 07, 2002

    Cry Baby

    Saturday night, Heather and Mike asked me to be a Godmother!

    I cried. I just love them and their kids so much! Heather's parents are my Godparents and have always been very special to me. I've always wanted to do the same for Heather's family.

    I'd say that Heather & Mike couldn't know just how incredibly happy I am to have been honored in this way but I think they know. Perhaps the fact that tears fell every time we talked about it, even at Perkins afterwards might have shed some light on just how important this is to me. Thank you so much - my heart is overwhelmed.

    Wednesday, October 02, 2002

    Lagging

    I kind of thought that I would have time to relax after Shelly and Brent's wedding but I was mistaken.

    We've been bowling fools. You'd think bowling twice a week would make for a better bowler. I think I've only increased my ability to suck down Vanilla Cokes. Then there's softball twice a week. We're tied for 1st place in the Division II Apple Valley league. Last game's on Friday - wish us luck! The Sunday night Hoosier Daddy team has been showing glimmers of brilliance. We won on the 22nd but lost to a bunch of soccer players last Sunday. I love playing ball but with how busy we've been, I'm sort of looking forward to this weekend, it being the last game of the season for both leagues. Wish us luck!

    As for professional sporting events, the Vikings suck, Moss needs to be traded (can you say Hershel Walker trade in reverse??), Culpepper needs to be benched if he fumbles another football and Bates needs to stop returning punts/kick-offs. The Twins won the first game 7-5! Could this be a World Series year? Kelly got tickets to the Minnesota Wild pre-season game last night and we took Heather & Mike. The seats were fantastic - 9th row on the side. I'd never been to a hockey game before - not even high school. We had a blast! Wild beat the Mighty Ducks 4-1. We're going to the CO game in a few weeks - got club level tickets through work! Can't wait.

    Work has been incredibly busy. I've spent the last 10 days installing a Linux webserver and a Sun Solaris server. I've never done an install before. It's been interesting. Thank heavens I didn't have to do this on my own or it wouldn't be neatly done right now. Instead, it'd likely be at the bottom of Lake Independence. I love Vi. Also, I love hot swappable disk drives. Not.

    So that's about it. I've been so busy I haven't been to basket class in a month. Am definitely going through withdrawals. Hopefully I can go next week!

    Saturday, September 21, 2002

    Shelly & Brent Johnson!

    Congratulations on your Wedding Day Shelly & Brent!

    It was a beautiful day.

    The girls' met in Champlain to get our hair done. I'm sad to say I'll surely have nightmares about the killer bobby pins for the next week. But happy because this hair is not going to move until I force it to.

    I had to get my nails redone because the guy yesterday airbrushed the french manicure on my nails and the paint chipped off by this morning. Word to the wise - airbrushing doesn't work on natural nails.

    Then it was off to the church for pictures! I forgot my jewelry at home but Kelly got it to the church literally 45 seconds before pictures started. Everything was falling into place.

    Showtime! I can hardly believe this moment is upon us! I'm watching Shelly up by the altar vowing to love this man for life and I'm so happy I cry.

    The reception was so much fun. The slide show was a huge success. The food was fantastic. Dancing was superb. Shelly's day was perfect and noone deserves perfection more. You'll always be my bestest friend Shell-bell. Always. I am so honored to be a part of this incredible day.

    May your love grow stronger every day!

    Friday, September 20, 2002

    Shelly's Wedding Eve

    This morning I went to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market with Susie, Gary, Shelly and Brent to take care of the flowers for their wedding. We had a full day ahead of us and were counting on being done with flowers by 10:00-10:30. We arrived at 8:30 and were greeted by a sing-songy Jim Bush. First he says, we must start on the corsages. He shows us how to make bows and puts us to work. We are to make bows from ribbon and secure them with wire. We had no scissors. A pocket knife tided us over while Jim went to the store to buy scissors. While we were busily tying bows, a gal was making the boutonnières. When Jim returned we'd nearly finished the bows. Jim said nay to the baby's breath that the gal had put in the boutonnières. He went on to rave about eucalyptus seeds and making some raw reference to the significance of seeds. And so we decided to use the boutonnières as corsages and were then charged with making the real boutonnières.

    Meanwhile Jim is singing "You Are So Beautiful" to Shelly's bridal bouquet which is coming along quite nicely now. His next masterpieces were the bridesmaids' bouquets. We finished the boutonnières when he was finishing the last bridesmaid's bouquet. It's 10:45 and we still have the Mother's and Grandmother's corsages to make. Not to mention the altar arrangements and cake decorations. By now we're corsage experts, the boys are getting anxious and Jim's rendition of "You Are So Beautiful" is less than topping the charts. We finally finish the corsages at 11:30 and must go if we're going to make our other appointments for the day. Jim vows to have the altar arrangements and cake decorations ready by 9am.

    We make our way to King of Roses where Hector lets us store the flowers in his cooler for Shelly's big day. We did it!

    Next off us girls had manicure and pedicure appointments. It was so fun to be pampered. Afterwards we prepared for the rehearsal and Groom's dinner and headed off to the church!

    Shelly found the most beautiful church! Just amazing. It's perfect.

    The rehearsal went fantastic and the Groom's dinner at Angeno's was a hit. I can hardly wait until tomorrow! I'm a little nervous about the slide show, but I have faith it will work.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2002

    Excerpt from Defective Yeti

    Lovely and The Punk

    I've just boarded my bus, which is rapidly filling up. The Punk across the aisle, however, is stubbornly refusing to move his bag from the seat next to him. He is staring sullenly out the window, so at first I assume he's just self-absorbed and has forgotten that his backpack is preventing others from sitting. But then I notice that, by some sixth sense, The Punk knows when someone is about to ask him to move his stuff; at these moments he abruptly turns to the interlopers and scowls, until they opt not to speak and continue down the aisle.

    Suddenly, a lovely young lady boards, one of those girls that are so obviously unaware of their own allure that they are doubly attractive in the eyes of others. Everyone watches as she saunters down the aisle like a bride in an impromptu wedding, except for The Punk who is busy glaring at pigeons and wondering what he should get tattooed onto his tongue.

    Lovely sees the spot next to The Punk, does a charming little skip, grabs one of the support poles and starts to swing herself into the seat. But then she sees the bag, somehow arrests her motion, chirps a "whoops!" and resumes walking towards the back of the bus. The Punk, meanwhile, who has turned towards her with his Angry Youth face in place, manages to look surprised and then delighted and then crestfallen all in the space of a second. He scoops his bag into his lap, but it's too late. A moment later an middle-aged man occupies the vacant seat, but The Punk offers no protest, as he's now craning his neck, scanning the back of the coach and trying to locate his lost opportunity. It's a Sophoclean tragedy in one act.

    That was last week. This morning The Punk was again on my bus. He was sitting with his bag on his lap, leaving the adjacent seat free, a testament to the civilizing influence of women.

    -See this story here.

    Thursday, September 12, 2002

    Traffic Report

    We interrupt this website to bring you this morning's Minneapolis traffic report.

    As you may know, many of the downtown streets have been torn up for most of this year as they work to complete the light rail system below street level. You can imagine the traffic delays as road closures seem to change with the workers' underwear. As a token of the Minneapolis Mayor's appreciation for everyone's patience with the traffic problems, he announced he'd be handing out free doughnuts at a central downtown location. Probably thousands of people flooded the streets to indulge themselves thus causing a major traffic jam. Irony is bliss.

    Wednesday, September 11, 2002

    In Remembrance

    We celebrate anniversaries of change every year. The day we first met. The day we were married. The day we came to America. The day we started our jobs. Today is the day when America woke up.

    It's been 1 year and not a day has gone by that something about 9/11 hasn't played through our minds. The way our parents remember where they were when JFK was shot; we will remember where we were when we heard the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

    To the victims and their families; to the tireless firefighters, policemen and emergency workers; to the everyday heroes present wherever you look; to the hopeful; to the children. I lift my eyes to the heavens and pray for you and promise not to forget how you died, saved, carried on, forgave and ultimately won on this infamous day. Our lives are forever changed, but we will not surrender or lose ourselves in this so called war.

    So today and every day...
    Say "thank you" to the bus driver. Wave at a police officer. Pull over when you see an oncoming emergency vehicle. Slow down. Appreciate life. Give someone a flower. Be kind to an elderly person. Love. Make peace. Be true to yourself and you will never be lost.

    Friday, September 06, 2002

    Deluded Drafter

    Where do I begin??? This summer has been incredible. I'm still trying to catch my breath.

    Last Thursday was my fantasy football draft. I'm not happy with my draft - I made a stupid decision with my first pick. I didn't want to take a risk so I picked Curtis Martin instead of Owens or Moss. What was I thinking???? Now my best receiver is Amani Toomer. Ugh.

    Last weekend we went to Kelly's aunt and uncle's in northern Wisconsin. They're on Bridge Lake and we caught a few Bass, Northern and Walleye. We kept a 2 lb bass and ate him on Sunday. He was fantastic. We missed the F3 tornado that went through Ladysmith by 2 hours. We usually take highway 8 home and almost stayed to do laundry, but decided to head out early and take an alternate route. The entire town is devastated. Thankfully noone was killed.

    The NFL 2002 season started yesterday with the 9ers stuffing the Giants. Pretty boring game until the 4th quarter. We went out for dinner with Shelly & Brent and watched the end of the game at their place. Toomer looked decent but it doesn't show in the numbers. Yikes!

    Tonight is Rob Schlegel's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBIE!). Kelly is going out with Rob and Heather, Serenity and Chris at the Mall of America tonight. Be on the lookout for a blonde curly haired staggering down the isles. Piano Bar, here they come. Tonight I'm going to Shelly's bachelorette party. We're going downtown. It will be fun. Give her money.

    Love & Blow Pop Bouquets,

    Cari

    Wednesday, September 04, 2002

    A Man's Quest to Fight A Grizzly

    Troy Hurtubise hails from Ontario, Canada. He is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He wants to fight a grizzly bear. In 2001, he completed the Mark VI. He spent $100,000 and 15 years making this high-tech bear-proof suit. He used plastic, rubber, chainmail, galvanised steel, titanium - and thousands of metres of duct tape to construct a system which would allow him to go head to head with a 350 pound grizzly bear and survive. Right, because there's huge demand for such a product.

    He wanted to test the suit out on a real bear but first, he underwent field tests while wearing the Mark VI. He was hit twice with a 136 kilogram tree trunk, 18 collisions with a 3 ton truck at 50 km/hr and numerous strikes with arrows, bullests, axes, baseball bats and a chainsaw. Unfortunately, the real bear test never happened, because:

    A) they could not find a bear in the correct weight range,
    B) they could not find a bear stupid enough to attack the man in the bear suit instead of the unarmed cameramen and news personnel, and finally,
    C) once Troy was knocked to the ground he needed help from 3 men to stand since the suit weighs nearly 300 pounds.

    What's worse? There's a Mark VII

    Friday, August 23, 2002

    Oy Vey

    The picinic at Island Lake Park was fun. Emily, Megan & I threw the football around for awhile and switched to bumping the volleyball around while the "grown-ups" finished eating and finally joined us for a game or 3. You won't be surprised that I couldn't help myself from diving into the sand for a few or that the first ball I hit bruised my arm quite badly. It was a lot of fun. I found out afterwards that some of the joiners were QWest employees. Had I known I probably would have put more efforts into spiking.

    Made it to the State Fair at about 2:30. Parked at Rosedale and took the free shuttle. It was fantastic. Parked, boarded a bus and were on our way within 2 minutes. The buses leave every 15 minutes and run until midnight. Can't beat it! Free parking and no hassles or traffic jams afterwards.

    Once there, we decided to pay the $5 admission instead of using our discount tickets ($4). Now we can return twice and not feel bad if it's just for the sake of cheese curds and pronto pups :) We consumed devilish goods such as:

  • 1 Footlong Hot Dog
  • 1 Pronto Pup
  • Cheese Curds
  • Bull Bites (beef tenderloin)
  • 1 Pork Chop on a stick
  • 3 bites of a Snickers bar on a stick
  • Cotton Candy
  • Roasted Corn
  • 1 Bucket Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I don't know how I don't weigh 200 pounds today. I'm under the impression that extra fat grams cause sleepiness as am extremely tired today. Other than food, we enjoyed browsing through the Grandstand, checking out the new free-fall "ride" at Adventure Park, oohed and ahed at the lifted Tahoes and the big trucks at Machinery Hill. Also, fell in love with the 2003 Corvette. We checked out 5th wheels, pull-behind campers, boats, fishing gear and spas. Little kids built birdhouses and such donning their own distinctive orange smock at the Home Depot building. We smiled at the cuteness of the pitter patter of 100 little hammers hammerring away. We saw a calf 10 minutes after it was born at the Miracle of Birth building. How great it was to witness his first steps. Baby cows, baby lambs, baby chicks, baby horses, baby pigs, baby bunnies. It was too much! What's not to love about the fair??? The people watching is terrific. Oh, one warning. Beware of your breathing nearby and inside the midway. If the abundance of cologne and the perfume don't knock you out, the ride emissions might.

  • Thursday, August 22, 2002

    Maddie's having surgery

    Maddie had surgery today. She should be coming out of it in an hour or so. She's having teeth extracted and will hopefully have a fast recovery. She's 11 and so we're anxious but know she'll be better off after the surgery.
    Update: Maddie is recovering well. She's on an antibiotic and morphine which makes her groggy and less than coordinated but she's doing surprisingly well. She has trouble with stairs as her front legs go up while her back legs go sideways. So, yes, she's more like me now.

    We have our department picinic today. It's cloudy but it's going to be fun. BBQ and volleyball - the right ingredients!

    I'm going to the State Fair afterwards. As you may know, most everything at the fair is deep fried on a stick. In fact, I do believe they have macaroni and cheese on a stick this year. I won't be trying that but I'll gladly watch others try it. Anyhow, we've always gone towards the end of the fair and since today is opening day, all of the oil is clean. Do you suppose we're even going to like the food???!! Hold on heart... pronto pups here we come. Speaking of pronto pups (one of my favorites)... surely you've seen corn dogs and pronto pups during one of your past artery clogging fair-going escapades and might have been curious if there's a difference between the two. Last year, I was informed that corn dogs are covered in a breading while pronto pups are battered. Good to know.

    Friday, August 16, 2002

    It's Friday which I should

    It's Friday which I should find relaxing, right? So how come I'm all twisted up in a ball bouncy enough to be a superball? Hm... do they still make superballs? I used to hoard them when I was a kid. I remember repeated attempts to bounce the ball from one end of the gym to the other without hitting a basketball player enroute. Unsuccessful, but entertaining. Anyway, back to being the superball... tonight I'm off to Apple Valley to play ball (ooo, softball with a superball would be quite interesting) then tomorrow Jill & I will brave the wind, rain and crowds at Valleyfair. Sunday brings Hoosier Daddy's first game. We play a team called "Gabe's Friends" which sounds far too pink to be any kind of competition for Hoosier Daddy. :) The best part is that even if we lose, we still get to form a huddle and yell "Hoosier Daddy" on 3.

    Wish us luck.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2002

    Junk in My Trunk

    I have a tiny car. In the Prelude's tiny trunk you will find:

  • 1 set of golf clubs rolling around aimlessly, trying to escape
  • 2 golf bags holding 2 sets of golf clubs captive
  • 2 pair golf shoes
  • 1 bowling ball in bag accompanied by shoes in dire need of replacement
  • 1 softball equipment bag holding 3 bats, 24 balls, 2 mits and 2 pair of cletes
  • 1 volleyball
  • 0 dead bodies

    Also, check out the updated albums on the photos page.

  • Are you a Movable Type user?

    If you are, Ben, Mena and George W. Bush would just love it if you'd fill out the survey.

    Thursday, August 08, 2002

    Recipes

    I've finally put more recipes up on the recipes page. More to come! Happy cooking.

    Wednesday, August 07, 2002

    Honda Infirmary

    Today my Prelude is at the Honda dealership getting its A/C fixed. They're also changing the oil and fixing a tail light. Somehow I think even with it being under warranty, the bill's going to be over $100.

    Tonight I have basket class. Tomorrow is the last league night of golfing and Friday the Apple Valley softball league starts with a double-header. Saturday we have Hoosier Daddy team practice & Sunday we're playing the Platinum Course at Majestic Oaks with Dad. It's supposed to be a fabulous course.

    Also we saw Blackhawk Down the other day. It's excellent. MN boys rule.

    Friday, August 02, 2002

    Proof

    Need proof that I'm a complete geek? Hah.

    Monday, July 29, 2002

    Visiting Christina

    We left for Westbrook Saturday - after I stopped by Shelly's to drop off my "ice sculptures" and gift for her "naughty" shower. We arrived right around 8pm - just in time to drive to Walnut Grove to see Christina portray Laura in the Wilder Pageant. She did a terrific job! We all had fun & were impressed by our little star. Sunday morning, I started roasting the turkey before Kelly, Chris & I went golfing. We got back around 9:30am and Lynn & Nikki started breakfast. We ate, and continued cooking on through the afternoon. Right about 3 o'clock - all was ready but we were delayed by severe storms. A huge storm system came from SD and through the southern part of MN at high speeds. Reports included golf ball size hail, tornadoes and heavy rain. The sky went from clear to black so suddenly and yet everything was eerily still. Seemed like the ingredients for a tornado were all there. Luckily the storm cell passed through fairly quickly and without dropping any hail or trees in the area. Dinner was fantastic. Wayne made barbecue chicken, we had turkey, Lynn's macaroni salad, Nikki's potato salad, corn on the cob. Nothing was spared. Nikki made a great cake for Christina's birthday - I don't think there was even a drop of frosting left-over! Christina loved her gifts and was glad everyone was able to be there to celebrate her 10th birthday with her. I have lots of pictures & should have them posted very soon.

    Friday, July 26, 2002

    Samantha's Ice Skates

    If you've read the story below about Samantha's birthday party, you'll understand why this picture made me laugh hysterically until my belly ached.

    Week in Review

    Well I do believe this is a record! It's been a week since my last post but rest assured, I haven't quite withered away.

    The happenings in the Berger household were as follows:

    Saturday
    Samantha's 8th Birthday Party: Yes this means I've been out of high school for 7 years. There were 9 girls in the pool along with 2 antagonizing boys. Pizza, cake & ice cream were devoured. The girls sang along to the radio; spirits were high. Before I get to the gift part, I think it's important to note that Samantha does not have a birthday wish list. Nor does she have a Christmas wish list. Samantha tells each person 1 thing that she wants. She's extremely specific. A couple of weeks ago, I sat Sam down on my lap and asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She paused, but only for a second, and exclaimed, "ice skates." It's July. I won't go into how much effort was put into finding ice skates in July much less in a size 3. Nor will I elaborate on how nostalgic I became when I found the skates because the last pair of figure skates I remember having as a child were in fact a size 3. Needless to say I was excited to give her the skates. Present opening commenced. There was shrieking and bouncing and oohs and ahhs as Sam opened bags full of nail polish and hair scrunchies, CD's, clothes and other little girl things. Then she came to my gift. I had the camera perched in just the right spot ready to capture the opening moment. Sam tore the paper off in a frenzy and then announced quite nonchalantly, "Oh... ice skates." The ice skates were added to the pile of gifts behind her. She did express excitement about them later on though, announcing them first when asked what she got. I'll latch onto whatever I can :) haha. Heather & Mike outdid themselves again this year and gave her a fancy Karaoke machine. I can't wait until Sam sings her favorite songs over and over again into the night. That is if she can find where her Mom & Dad left he microphone.

    Chris' 24th Birthday Party: Chris' girlfriend Missy arranged a surprise party for Chris at Gasthof's. Adam, Chris & Emily, Mike, Lindsey, Mandy, Michelle were there. Amy was in town and told us all about her wedding plans. Chris was surprised. German beer was enjoyed. Berger forgot her tab (ala credit card & license) and had to come back for it at 1.

    Sunday
    I went to the Mall of America with Jill to find softball cletes and to have some girl time. We received the worst possible service at Champs Sports (seriously avoid this store). On the way out we stopped appropriately at the Original Sports Bar to check the Twins score. <wink wink> While we were there we figured we might as well have a drink. We then picked Kelly up at home and went to Red Lobster for their Bottomless Bucket of Crab. I think we went through over 4 lbs of crab. We probably scared Jill.

    Tuesday
    I journeyed to Minnetonka to have my bridesmaid's dress fitted. Luckily, only the hem and the straps need adjusting!

    Also I registered our softball team. Our team name is Hoosier Daddy.
    It makes me laugh.

    Today
    Today, we're either going to Ribfest or out with Brian for his actual going away party. Then we must go to the grocery store for a turkey which I'll be making on Sunday at Nikki's. Tomorrow morning, Kelly, Chad & I are going golfing at the Francis A. Gross course. 6:37am bright and early! Afterwards, I will prepare the turkey. We'll leave Saturday afternoon for Nikki's (Westbrook, MN). Saturday night we're going Walnut Grove to see Nikki's daughter Christina in the Wilder Pageant. Christina is playing the role of Laura and is extremely excited and thrilled by signing autographs! She does shine in that spotlight! Kelly's parents and his brother Chris and his daughter Kati will also be there. It will be fantastic to see everyone!

    I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

    Thursday, July 18, 2002

    Search Engine

    I've signed up with Atomz and installed their search engine on the Cittigirl main pages. I'm contemplating whether to install the search on the album pages or not. Do you devout readers have any preference? If you do... please leave a comment! What the heck, leave a comment anyway.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2002

    Pictures of Pusan, S. Korea from Lori

    Lori Writes:

    Hi, Cari!

    We exchanged emails a while ago - this is Lori from the "LoriLoo" blog. You asked me if I returned to Pusan to try to get a picture of the City Hall Steps. Well, I was in Pusan this week to get a visa to go to China, so I took the subway to City Hall. There are three buildings adjacent to each other - the courts, City Hall, and a Council building. City Hall doesn't have steps in front or back, but the Council building did have steps. The buildings appear to be relatively new - so I don't know if they are the same buildings where your life adventure began. Anyway, I've attached a few - enjoy!

    Lori

    And so here's where it all started... I wonder if these buildings were built right over the old City Hall or if it's still standing at another location. I will have to do some research! Thank you Lori for sending these pictures - I can't even explain how much it means to me!

    Pusan, South Korea

    Monday, July 15, 2002

    Ferocious Ferret

    Friday I took the ferrets to the vet for their yearly vaccinations... Asti is now on a regular yearly schedule - no more boosters (yay!) The vet noted Jazmine's sweet demeanor immediately nuzzling her as she gave him kisses. Then he literally took a step back when he saw Asti. "He's the biggest ferret I've ever seen!" he says. Bring him by in December and have us weigh him - I'll bet he'll weigh 5 lbs! This is not exactly encouraging as he is 2 hands full already. Maybe when he's that big he'll lack the energy to drive me mad.

    Friday night we treated ourselves with a movie. Men in Black II. It's cute, funny, pretty much what we expected, but it's a renter folks.

    Saturday, we embarked on our Pampered Chef route. We delivered to Grandpa's first and visited with my Mom and Grandpa & Grandma for awhile. Then we headed to Shelly's where we made a golf date for 5pm and onto Shari's. We golfed at Brightwoods in New Brighton. It was so wet that there was an actual mud moat around the 2nd green. It ruined our shoes. We were less than content about this. Afterwards, Brent & I went in to ask for a refund. I flustered the attendant. We got our money back. I don't think we'll be going back there. It stinks. Thankfully we made up for the lousy golfing with a fun dinner at Champps on Silver Lake. I had the best fettucini alfredo ever. Go figure... at Champps.

    Sunday we went to Kathy & Tim's for Whiz Bang Days. I made the turkey, they had lots of awesome food. Burgers, brats, salads, yum. The kids played in the lake, we checked out their beautiful new addition, poured a few beers and ate until we were full. We celebrated Jeremy, Mitchell & Noah's birthdays. We all doted on Katie & Dustin's 3 day old Jack. He's just unbelievably adorable. I'll have pictures before week end guaranteed.

    <<update>>
    um... how about today... pictures

    Tuesday, July 09, 2002

    Arthur is so very loved

    Kelly & I drove straight through and arrived in Palestine (about 110 miles SE of Dallas) at about 9am on Thursday morning. We took a short rest before we met the family at 1 for Arthur's viewing. Arthur looked great and will always be with us.

    Afterwards the family gathered at Jane's. Seems everyone brought something to eat. There were several different kinds of brisket, rice, chicken and deserts galore. It was so wonderful to spend time with Kelly's Aunts & Uncles, Cousins & their families & friends. Even though we may be miles away, the closeness stays with us.

    Arthur's Rosary was at 6:30pm. It was beautiful. The church was near full.

    Afterwards, we gathered again at Jane's. We told stories and played with the kids. We ate more. We hugged. We laughed. We cried. Most of all, we remembered and we loved.

    Arthur's funeral began at 10am on Friday, July 5th. Arthur was so loved and admired. The church was so full, many had to stand. The service was warm and proud, just as Arthur would have wanted. Jane was strong as she gave tribute to Arthur and thanked her family for their support and love which includes her Palestine family. There wasn't a dry eye as she spoke. The power of community and togetherness could be felt throughout. It warmed my heart. I can only hope that Jane, Carlos and Marcus can still feel our embraces as they are always in our hearts, prayers and thoughts.

    At the Knights of Columbus Hall, more food was shared and memories exchanged.

    Arthur smiled upon us as we gathered again at Jane's, shared a drink and played the You Bag It game until dark. There were smiles and laughter and lots of full tummies.

    Kelly & I went with Chris & Debbie to Debbie's sister's place at Lake Palestine. We did a little catfishing before turning in for the night. On Saturday, the kids played in the lake while we visited with Debbie's family and enjoyed smoked brisket and ribs. Marcus, Jonna & Andy came to pick up Tony in the afternoon. We visited with them for awhile before heading back to Jane's. Carlos' family was there along with Kelly's parents, Aunt Bell & Leonard. We shared Whataburger and shared funny stories about growing up. You could tell no-one wanted to leave. Just before 10, we started to say our good-byes. There were hugs, smiles and tears as we all started home.

    Kelly's parents, Bell & Leonard arrived in Milwaukee on Sunday evening. Kelly's parents went on to Indianapolis on Monday and arrived safely last night.

    Kelly & I stayed in Arlington and enjoyed Six Flags over Texas on Sunday. The weather was fantastic and the lines were non-existant. I'd been once 2 1/2 years ago and remembered Mr. Freeze as the best coaster. It goes from 0-70 mph in under 4 seconds. The track twists, turns, flips and then literally ends before it propells you backwards to your starting point. We were going to start there, but were disappointed (understatement) to find it was closed for maintenance. By noon, we'd completed nearly all of the major coasters. We ventured on some water rides to cool down and then were ecstatic to find that Mr. Freeze was running and were quickly on a mission to make it there before it broke again (nevermind the irrationality of that thought). On the way I pondered whether I'd set too high of expectations in Kelly's mind and was afraid I'd set him up for disappointment... my worries were put to rest when he stepped into his kid shoes and exclaimed, "let's go again" before the ride had even come to a complete rest. We ended up riding it 4 times. Our 2nd runner up was the Titan, which was built in 2001. It features a 255 foot drop and speeds in excess of 85 mph. Woohee!

    We left the park at about 9:30pm and were on our way home by 10pm. Kelly drove like a champion and didn't stop for rest until 2 (Oklahoma). I took over at 4 and drove to Des Moines and we finally made it home at 3pm. Why is it that the last 150 miles feel like 500???

    It is nice to be home, but we sure miss everyone. Man, it'd be great if we were all closer. We love you all and miss you!

    Wednesday, July 03, 2002

    On Our Way to Palestine

    Kelly's uncle Arthur passed away yesterday. We're heading to TX today to be with his family. I went to the DMV today and had my registration changed over from TX to MN. TX officers would spot my expired registration a mile away. So we're all set. Sending our deepest sympathy to Jane and Kelly's family.

    Tuesday, July 02, 2002

    Benedryl Junkie

    Last night I took a half-dose Benedryl to help with the itching but got no results. So 45 minutes later I took another half-dose. I woke up at 10:30am. I still felt groggy & was extremely late for work. Lucky for me, my boss empathizes as he took a Benedryl once at lunchtime and hardly made the drive home. And we're worried about drunk drivers. It's allergy season people - watch out for the snoozer in the next lane!

    Monday, July 01, 2002

    Dear Deer Flies

    How could I forget?

    Found out I'm allergic to deer flies. On Saturday morning, I was bitten about 3 times on my left ankle and twice on my right. Those suckers hurt! One even drew blood. Anyhow, by Saturday night, the bites were red and swollen and my ankles themselves were a bit swollen. By Sunday morning, my ankles were so swollen it didn't look like my skin could stretch any more - you couldn't even see my achilles tendon! By the afternoon my calves were red and hot to the touch - it hurt to walk even stand. I called Blue Cross Blue Shield's first help line and they told me to get to an urgent care within 6 hours.

    Doc says deer fly bites will likely cause infection due to my allergy to them. Great. This will be fantastic for my fishing career :)

    Here fishy fishy fishy...

    Kelly & I went up to Chad's grandparents' house in Brainerd this weekend. The weather was unbelievable and we caught lots of fish. Wendy got to sleep in while us stooges hit the water. She joined us on Saturday afternoon for some pan fishing where Chad caught the only keepers. Kelly kept 2 bass and so he got a lesson on filleting bass and sunnies. I observed - I'm sure with a grimace but with equal fascination. Sunday we got up at 5:30 and found a hot spot. Chad caught several bass, Kelly about 4 northern (1 keeper) and 2 snakes (baby northern) plus about a 1.5 lb bass. I was the lucky one on Sunday (making up for a dry Saturday). I probably pulled in 7 or 8 northern and a 2 lb bass. Kept a 3 lb northern and of course the bass! Chad's uncle Dennis gave us some pointers on filleting northern and Kelly & I went home with a bucket full of fillets! Can't wait for the fish fry!

    Thursday, June 27, 2002

    Kelly comes home tonight! Yay

    Kelly comes home tonight! Yay :)

    Wednesday, June 26, 2002

    Oliver's Twist

    It's going to seem that I'm addicted to FoodTV, but I am.

    Oliver's Twist is one of my favorites, it features Jamie Oliver, a fine British chef who keeps it real. Smart British phrases always bring a smile to my face.

    Anyway, last night's episode included a Basil & Lime Sorbet I thought might be fun to try. After all I'm continuously searching for uses for the basil *bush* growing on our balcony. Once I found the recipe I was stunned to notice I was reading the recipe in a thick British accent. Next thing you know I'll be saying things like "knackered"

    Hotel Thievery

    Last night on FoodTV, there was a special on where else but Indianapolis. One of the restaurants they showcased was Everyday Joe's famous for their chicken wings. Kelly loves chicken wings. And so when I spoke to him last night, I suggested he check it out. We're about to hang up when he says,
    "What was the name of that place again?"
    "Everyday Joe's... why don't you write it down?" I ask.
    "My planner is out in the car"
    "How about one of the hotel notepads & pens?"
    "They're in the car too"
    "You already stole the hotel notepads & pens?!?"
    <laughter>

    Tuesday, June 25, 2002

    The Places We Go

    Kelly & I went to Milwaukee this weekend for his cousin Lisa's housewarming party. It was a great time and their house is beautiful. Thank you aunt Bell and uncle Leonard for putting us up for the weekend! (or putting up with us, however you you want to look at it!). Figures that my friends from Milwaukee were in Minneapolis this weekend. We probably passed each other on 94. Kelly's parents were in town and are now in New York at Wayne's Mom's as is Kelly's brother Frank. Kelly's other brother Chris was in NY this weekend. Kelly is in Indianapolis interviewing new drivers hoping to get Indy going and should be home Thursday or Friday depending on the schedule. My Mom is in Kansas City helping her friend Kathy settle (Kathy moved there from Maple Grove a little over a week ago). She'll be back tonight.

    So as you can see, we're all over the place right now polluting the roadways.

    Other than that, it's hot and humid and stormy. The air conditioner went out this weekend (of course) and so it's about 90 degrees. I had to move the "kids" into the spare bedroom to keep them cool. They're happy now.

    Let's do the un-rain dance. Dad & I have a 12:44 tee time.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2002

    Kari has a sister!!

    Kari has a sister!!

    Tuesday, June 18, 2002

    Went to NY & Co

    Went to NY & Co again today. They have the jeans I like on sale for $7.50. I stocked up. If you like that store, go there - just about everything is 50% off and then some on clearance items. I got a pair of pants, 5 pairs of jeans, 7 shirts and 2 pair of sunglasses for $120.

    Suburbanites Invade the Target Center

    There were splashes of green, orange and bright pink spikes in every direction. Army pants, too tight t-shirts, rings in faces. We were in the epicenter of teendom. We got an idea of what we were in for on the way to the bar. The curbsides were crowded with mothers dropping their teens at the Target Center. We met Jill, Mandy, Matt and Cassy at Champps. We enjoyed citron lemonades until showtime. Once at the Target Center, the cocktails continued to flow. We rocked out to Green Day while the teenies sat idle unsure of who was playing. Blink 182 put on a great show although it was hard to determine which song they were actually singing. I think I sang what's my age again 3 times, but who's counting? Jill, Kelly and I went to O'Donnovans for water afterwards and then headed down to Pizza Luce. Somehow we all made it home and into work today. I felt fine until 11:30 today. Then my tummy started doing backflips but they've since ceased. I guess the moral of the story is that it's unwise to party like a rock star during the week. :)

    Monday, June 17, 2002

    Pampered Chef

    You know you want to order something or what the heck, have a party!

    Let me know. I'm closing my party next week.

    Happy Father's Day!

    We went out on the Riva with my Dad yesterday. It was a beautiful day! We got out at about 11:30 and went down to the locks and beached. About 2 minutes after we left the beach, it started to sprinkle. 15 seconds later it was pelting and 45 seconds later it was pouring. We put up the top in a hurry and drove on. 5 minute later it was sunny again. Nothing like keeping it exciting! Then we brought some tenderloin to Dad's and he grilled it up for us. Mmmm... tenderloin. Dad went away with a Norelco shaver, a silver picture frame and a golf bag can/water holder. I think we left him happy.

    Friday, June 14, 2002

    Legal to Drive

    Renewed my DL today. The nice people at the Roseville DMV took very good care of me. I smiled in my picture. It's obnoxious but aren't DL pictures supposed to be?

    Thursday, June 13, 2002

    Blackberry Pie

    Here's the blackberry pie I made on Saturday...

    It was tasty.

    In the Nick of Time

    Seems I switched to MT in the nick of time! Blogger's been blocked by the infamous firewall. Literally within the past couple of days. Not that I can't access it from home, but then the lunchtime posts would disappear! Funny how all of a sudden I feel like I'm doing something wrong. My defense would be, "but they don't know how fast I type!"

    Wednesday, June 12, 2002

    Danke

    Thank you to everyone who helped me with this title/body alignment issue. I'm not fond of the ugly space when there's no title but I can live with it.

    What would the world come to if this Internet communtity weren't so willing to help each other?

    Tuesday, June 11, 2002

    Movable Type is Here!!

    Well well... I've conquered MT!

    So far I really like it. I still have some tweaking to do but for the most part, what you see is what you'll get. You'll notice the comments interface is a bit different. Also the archives are ordered intelligently - newest first. Each archive includes a link to the previous and next archive if applicable too which is nice if you just feel like browsing without having to snap back to the main archive list page. MT automatically makes the first 5 words the entry title if you don't specify a title and I don't like that on some posts so I'm working on correcting that now but WALA!! I'm so glad. Pphhhlllbbb to you blogger.

    Monday, June 10, 2002

    Whirlwind

    Have been extremely busy planning party. I can't believe it is in 4 days. I have so much to do! Took Asti to vet today for distemper booster (was supposed to cost $18). Found out he has ear mites. Had to have culture and a shot to kill mites. Paid vet $78. Their vet is great, don't get me wrong but these little guys are getting very expensive. Also must now clean everything in their cages... again. I've been up to my neck at work, am sunburned and didn't get any sleep because other ferret decided to wake up at 5:40am. She will be moving back into the living room starting tonight. Oh and the movable type migration is just where I left it on Friday. Haven't had time to work with it since so bear with me please. So wish me luck. I almost ran into a garbage truck this afternoon. Things aren't looking good.

    Thursday, June 06, 2002

    Transferring to Movable Type

    Well, at least I'm trying... So I've downloaded Movable Type version 2.11. I've loaded all of the scripts and perl modules. "It" is working. My template is not. I want this page to look the same after moving to MT but I can't get it to work. I've tried modifying the default template they give you, I've tried re-writing the code. I was actually getting somewhere with rewriting the code until all of a sudden it wasn't recognizing my css style sheets anymore. UGH. I've decided to put it away for today to avoid my throwing my monitor out the window. Dang it Blogger, see what you do to me???? Blogger has been having problem after problem with just about everything lately and the updates of late have me thinking the CEO has been taking vacations instead of being concerned about his "shareholders" and how they might feel about the service. I paid my 35 bucks and I suppose I've gotten my use out of it in the past 5 months. It's time to move on. Just too bad MT is so over my head. I want to ask Phil more questions but I can't bring myself to. Oh give me the courage...

    Thursday, May 30, 2002

    Legalize It

    Apparently fireworks were recently legalized in the state of Minnesota. I should clarify, they've legalized "Wisconsin" wimpy fireworks, nothing like what you find in the south. In SC, you have to be 14 years old to buy the big dogs. Apparently they value fingers only until they're aged to 13. Anyhow, I'm all for this, I mean it's ridiculous to outlaw sparklers. But we know the media and how they'll have a field day with the 3 people who injure themselves on the 4th of July this year. 7 people were probably hurt last year but that story won't lead until it's got some political value. The point of bringing this deal up was that I think there may be an error in which fireworks sales are being marketed...
    Recently seen in an Oasis Market gas station: Large display of Harry Potter videos, action figures, etc. On the other side of the H.P. display; fireworks. Can you just see it now? Kids playing with Harry Potter, doing their magic spells topped off with some fireworks for some special effects. Oops, he's lost his head.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2002

    Fishing...

    Kelly & I went up to Lake Vermillion this weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect even though the fishing was a bit slow. The lake is just so huge! We stayed at Pike Bay Lodge again. They're just wonderful people. We were in the boathouse this time. Complete with a mini fireplace and a jacuzzi tub. Yes we were roughing it. I caught a 20" northern on Saturday for dinner (which was fantastic) but on Sunday we had to resort to plan "b" (hotdogs and brats). It was so nice to get away from the city for awhile. Chad went back up to Brainerd where they caught their limit both days. The highlights were a 7 lb. northern and a couple of 3-4 lb. bass. This puts my 2-3 lb northern to shame!

    I just looked back and realized I never wrote anything meaningful about fishing opener??? Can't imagine what is wrong with me.
    Naturally fishing opener lands on my birthday (which was finally on a Friday) - what can you do? We went to Brainerd with Chad and Wendy. Chad's grandparents live on Mission Lake which is the clearest cleanest lake I have ever seen. You can see 5 ft down. The weather was awful - cold and wet even snow on Sunday. Unfortunately the fishing was slow. On Saturday I caught just 1 small perch and Sunday Kelly caught a largemouth bass and I caught a good sized lgmouth bass. I caught it with a "free" Rapala that came with a qt. of valvoline. I wasn't sure if the lure would even work and said so as I cast. The bass hit it about 2 seconds after it hit the water and gave up a pretty good fight into the boat. Wouldn't you know that I caught the northern with the same valvoline lure? Guess it works... :)

    Friday, May 24, 2002

    Summertime

    Well Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Finally, we can do some bass fishing and keep the buggers. I'm sure the 2-3 lb bass I caught last week will elude me this week. Fellow Minnesotans, don't blink... you might miss the summer.

    Everybody, be safe and have lots of fun. In that order.

    Thursday, May 23, 2002

    It Says, "Buy Me!"

    I must have this.

    Wednesday, May 22, 2002

    Moving moving moving...

    Things are settling pretty well on the homefront. I'm about 98% done with the den. I still have too many clothes for the closet and dresser, but the more I get sick of the pile on the floor, the easier it is to throw things in the "Goodwill" pile. The Goodwill pile has grown to about 1/5 the size of the room. Must get ready for the party on 6/15. It's a Pampered Chef slash housewarming slash beer drinking party. You should attend. If you like expensive beer, bring your own please.

    I moved offices today. What a job! I didn't realize how much stuff I'd acquired over the past couple of years. I'm already settled and inherited a very nice credenza cabinet so I'm happy. Nice to have an office with a door. Could I possibly be somebody now? Or maybe they just have a surplus of empty offices with doors. I'll choose not to believe the latter. I need to bring in a lamp. The florescent lights in here would certainly cause blindness. Plus it's too hard to nap in such artificial light. But seriously.

    Love and florescent lighting,
    Cari

    Monday, May 20, 2002

    A Child's Insight

    My cousin Heather is expecting and her youngest daughter Alex (3 yrs) was excited to hear the news.

    Her response was an enthusiastic, "Yah! If it's a girl, we can call her 'Pumpkin' and if it's a boy, we'll call him 'Pumpkinhead'."

    Do you suppose she understands her wisdom?

    Thursday, May 16, 2002

    Traffic

    I suppose anyone is flattered by attracting visitors to their site and so, I'm no different. Beggers shouldn't be choosers, but I have been recently perplexed by the way some folks have been directed to my site. Here are some examples of some search engine queries that lead people to my site...

  • flour spontaneous combustion
  • shoes painted on rocks
  • go out and eat worms
  • photos from movies with guys in dresses
  • my hairline is receding and driving me nuts
  • pictures of sneezes

    Interesting. I hope the viewers weren't disappointed to find that I don't paint shoes on rocks or own movies with guys in dresses nor am employed by a hair loss clinic. I suppose I could walk around with a pepper shaker and start collecting pictures of sneezes. Nah.

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2002

    Pain in the Neck

    I probably should have mentioned that Kelly was not injured... his neck is a little sore but he escaped rather unscathed. He won't turn down sympathy however, so feel free to call him and give him a few "awww"s. Jazmine's on antibiotics and kaopectate. She likes the Kao but hates the antibiotics. Figures since obviously the antibiotics are more important. May the little black cloud move out from over our heads!!

    Cell Phones Make Stupid Drivers Worse

    Well, Kelly was rear-ended last night by a teenager on a cell phone, Jazmine's at the vet getting bloodwork and probably having a fit, and she was supposed to be done over an hour ago. I went to Frank's Nursery while I was waiting and bought 2 basil plants, chives and rosemary. We get sun in our new apartment now so why not! I'm looking forward to pesto that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to make! How long are pine nuts good for? I've had half a bag since last year's pesto making adventure. If only Parmesan Reggiano grew on trees!

    Tuesday, May 14, 2002

    A Good Day

    Today is a good day. It's sunny and warm. My Dad and I had our pictures taken this morning. We were able to see the proofs already and they turned out great. Hopefully I can scan them in soon. Then we went out to lunch at Champps and to Circuit City for my birthday present. Dad gave me several different lenses for my camera and a new case - I can't wait to use them!! My Mom got new tires for her vette and is getting them installed as we speak. Nobody won the powerball - it's up to 80 million. 80 million. That's just insane. I guess I'll have to break down and buy a couple tickets. Got to play to win right? Ugh. I can't even imagine, OK I can, but it makes me antsy. Here's the bass I caught this weekend. The album is up on the photos page (along with additions to Chris & Sheryl's album and to the Miscellaneous page).

    Monday, May 13, 2002

    Mother Knows Best

    My mom is so thoughtful. 25 being a special year, she gave me a gift for each year. I got the Sheryl Crow CD I've been wanting, fishing lures, remote control caddy, cute picinic glasses and neat fruit shaped sandwich plates; shorts, a shirt, a lennox candy dish... the list goes on and on and on!! She's so outdone herself this time. :) Kelly's parents gave me a $20 gift certificate for Applebee's which I guarantee will be used to buy at least 1 perfect margarita! I also got $20 from my Grandpa and Grandma Bray. What a nice birthday! My Dad and I will be getting together this week. We go to have pictures taken tomorrow morning. Thank you all for the happy birthday wishes!